38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said.
“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.”
40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”
Thoughts: In Jewish thinking being dead four days meant the absolute dissolution of life. Jesus had delayed his coming so that there would be no doubt Lazarus was really dead. Jesus, however, was concentrating on God's glory (11:4,40) more than an instant fix. In our culture, we want instant fixes more than God's glory. We understand instant comfort a lot more than God's pattern of resurrection through death.
Prayer: May I find in you, Lord, grace and patience; peace and purpose. Help me to see that despite the odor of death around us, the hope of resurrection is nonetheless certain.