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A Weekly Devotional from the
South Green Street Church of Christ

 

   

Roll Away The Stone
By Steve Higginbotham
June 18, 2005
 

The miraculous raising of Lazarus from the dead is one of my favorite stories in the Bible.  I can just place myself in that multitude of people and imagine the utter amazement of seeing Lazarus slowing emerge from the darkness of his tomb...ALIVE!  Like as did Thomas, I would think there were people present who would have had to fall to their knees and humbly confess, "My Lord and my God!"

But now, let me draw your attention to a significant point in this familiar story that may, at times, be overlooked.  Why did Jesus, who had the power to command the dead back to life by simply saying, "Lazarus, come forth!" ask those present to "roll away the stone?" (John 11:39)  One who possessed the power to raise the dead could have certainly, by this same power, rolled away the stone.  But he didn't.  Instead he asked others to perform this task.

Ever wonder why he enlisted the cooperation of those present?  Ever wonder why such a seemingly insignificant detail was recorded for us to read?  Maybe it was to teach a lesson; a lesson which teaches us that Jesus wants our cooperation. 

While Jesus, in his sacrifice, did for us what we could not do for ourselves, we still must cooperate through faith and obedience.  Our salvation depends of the work of Christ which was beyond our ability, as well as our faithful response which is well within our ability. 

In other words, our salvation is much like the raising of Lazarus from the dead.  Jesus took care of the part that was beyond our ability, but expected us to do what was within our own ability.  Give it some thought.

Copyright 2005, South Green Street Church of Christ, Glasgow, Kentucky
Permission is granted to copy these articles.