Where Have You Laid Them?

3 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and [h]was troubled, 34 and said, “Where have you laid him?” They *said to Him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus wept. John 11:33-35..."Jesus looked around an saw them following. 'What do you want?' He asked them. They replied, 'Rabbi (which means Teacher) where are You staying?' 'Come and see,' He said. John 1:38-39

 

I recently heard someone make mention of the above Scripture in reference to our need to take Jesus to the place and places where we have laid our failures, disappointments, hurts, defeats, betrayals, even the very death of our greatest dreams and desires. We all have such places where we have "laid" them. We may even have sought to "bury" them, but their presence is still with us. The smell of death, as Mary, Martha and the other mourners were sure would be upon Lazarus, is still with us. We may have "entombed" them, but they are still there, affecting us on every level of our life. Jesus comes, and bids us to take Him to them. To all of them.

 

Where are such sites in your life? Where is it that you've laid the wounds, tragedies, losses, and bitter disappointments? Some may have been so long there that you're no longer conscious of them, yet they still affect you, influence your behavior, thinking, and attitudes. Jesus knows them all, and He would have you know them as well. He asks you to take Him to them.  Will you invite Him to "Come and see" even the most devastating of those long buried things?

 

When Martha, Mary, and the rest of the mourners laid Lazarus in his grave, they had no expectation that he would ever leave it, at least not in this life. They trusted in his being resurrected, but that was a future hope, not a present one. Where they laid their sorrow and loss was where they expected it to remain. Jesus felt their sorrow, and He entered into it, but it was what He did next that transformed everything. For those who trust in Him, no matter the depth of our need, hurt, or sorrow, we can look with faith unto what He will do next. What He did next was to call forth Lazarus from his grave unto life. A life that was beyond hope of recovery was recovered. Resurrection life was not just for tomorrow, it was for today. The one they had laid and lost was raised up and given back. Martha and Mary, in the midst of deep heartache and little faith, beheld a miracle beyond belief simply because they obeyed His word to take Him to where they had laid him. 

We all have these places in our lives. All along the path of our journey are places where we've "laid" the crushing devastation of our failures, defeats, betrayals, and losses. We may have kept moving, but we have never really gone on. Right there stands Jesus, and He bids us, as He did Martha and Mary to take Him to where we have laid them...all of them. He's entered into our sorrow, but He asks us to trust Him in what He is about to do next. Can and will we? Can you?

 

We must extend this invitation to Jesus if we're to ever to know real wholeness. But that path also contains a second invitation as well. It is the one extended by Him to us. In John 1, in response to the two disciples question as to where He was staying, Jesus simply said, "Come and see?" This is His invitation to each one of us, no matter where we are at this moment. The disciples were inquiring as to where His physical dwelling was. Jesus wanted them to know where He dwelt in the Spirit, in the Kingdom. They could only know that if they would come to Him, enter into His Life, and see. He calls us to the same. He said that eye hasn't seen, and ear hasn't heard all that the Father has in store for those who love Him. But if we heed His invitation, we begin to see, hear, and know the fullness of that Life He invites us to. 

 

Two invitations: The first comes from us, bringing Him into our various places of death and loss and beholding what He will do there. The second comes from Him, bringing us into the fullness of the Life He has just breathed into those places. Three simple words; "Come and see." Can we speak them to Him, and will we hear them from Him? His invitation has been given. Dare we give Him ours?

Blessings,

Pastor O

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