Lazarus had been dead and buried for four days. Jesus could have come sooner. He could have made Lazarus well. He could have prevented his death. But He did not. He let Lazarus die.
And now, Jesus wanted to open the tomb?
“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” John 11:39
Martha wanted to know, "Why?" Why would Jesus do this? What was the point? Was it to embarrass the family and created some sort of spectacle? Why go to the trouble of opening the grave? Lazarus was too far gone.
Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” John 11:40-44
Maybe, as they did to Lazarus, some people have written you off. You’re dead. You're so dead you stink! You're a lost cause. Your past is too dark. Your regrets are too big. Your disappointments are too great. Your hope lies rotting in the grave.
Today, Jesus says to you, “Get up!”
To Jesus, a cause is never lost. No one is ever too far gone. Even death does not mean it's over.
Get up. Walk out. Live again.
In the beginning, you may be a little cold. Your skin may be a little pale. Your smell may even be, shall we say, a new unnamed fragrance.
But that's okay. Soon, your color will return and your very life will smell like hope.
Welcome back to life. We've missed you.