Grace: The light to know Jesus more intimately so that I can follow Him more closely.
Text for Prayer: John 11:1-44. Read over the text slowly once or twice. Pay attention to your reaction to the emotions in the scene. Experience the sorrow, hope, and joy exuding from this rich text.
Imagine you are tightly bound from head to toe lying on a hard, cold stone in a dark tomb. Not one spark of light can be seen. You hear water dripping but cannot tell where. You hear the faint cawing of crows outside the tomb but do not know how many crows are there.
Where are your relatives? As far as they could tell, there was no life left in you. Your heart was stone cold. They were mourning your death about four days ago as they prepared your body for burial. You heard their prayers and cries. You smelled the candles and incense they burned. They expressed their gratitude and regrets, but you could not express yours. They spoke openly to the Lord about their frustration with Him. They were angry with you for not waking up. You heard and felt but could not respond. What would you give to be able to wake up and hug them and comfort them?
Where is Jesus, your friend? Your family knew how dear you were to Him. Surely, they would have told Him about your death by now. Recall the joy and light He brought into your life. You long for that warmth of His friendship. The thought of Him being far away makes the cold tomb even colder. Is Jesus on His way? If so, how far is He from the tomb? Is He thinking about you? How would He react to the news of your death?
You hear voices outside the tomb. They’re becoming more and more audible. Who are all there? What are they saying? You recognize Jesus’ voice. It’s really Him! You hear the rock covering the tomb’s entrance sliding open. Sunlight bursts into the tomb. The light blinds you as the darkness did, but this new “blindness” allows you to see better than ever and transforms sight into insight. The warmth of the sunlight slowly penetrates your chilly bones.
You hear the strong and familiar voice, “Come out!” Your heart jumps and pounds in your throat sending warm blood throughout your body. “Come out!” the voice cried out again. You move your fingers and toes. You roll off the stone and fall to the ground face down. With arms and legs bound, you struggle to push yourself across the ground toward the warm light as fast as you could. “Come out!” You could not bear to stay another second in the tomb. You finally reach the entrance. “Untie him!”
What happens after all these hands free you? What do you see? What do you say? Could you say anything? Look into the radiant and smiling face of Jesus.