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Will God’s Power Work at the Grave?

A man at the zoo was crying buckets of tears. A visitor asked, "Why is he crying like that?" A zookeeper said, "The elephant died this morning." The visitor said, "You mean he loved the elephant that much?" The zookeeper said, "That's not it. He's the guy who has to dig the grave." Digging graves almost always causes human beings to cry. Death is a problem no amount of human ingenuity and technology alone can conquer.

John 11 finds Jesus visiting the grave of His good friend Lazarus four days after Lazarus died. What do you do at the grave of a beloved friend? Verse 35 says, "Jesus wept." Weeping is a familiar experience in the human family,  especially weeping caused by death. And the death that turns on our tears is not always the death of a body. The graves we weep beside are often graves where we mourn the death of our spirits. Sin can kill innocence and purity and hope and trust and bury us in a grave of disappointment and guilt. When it does, the pain and grief and sense of loss we feel are as real as if we were burying a close friend or loved one- or ourselves.

What can you do when sin has buried you? The hopelessness and helplessness we feel in the face of our failures does not mean there is no hope and no help. Jesus didn't just weep at Lazarus' tomb. He also raised the dead! Verse 44 assures us that "he who had died came out bound hand and foot with grave clothes." Jesus proved that God's power also works at a grave! Where or what is your graveyard? 1 What is it that causes you loss of hope and grief and guilt? God is the God who gives hope and raises the dead- whether "the dead" be a dead body, a dying marriage, a dead friendship, or the death of our innocence and purity. A letter came from Health and Human Services to a resident of Greenville County, South Carolina: "Your food stamps will be stopped effective March 1992, because we received notice that you passed away. May God bless you. You may reapply if your circumstances change. "

What kind of death and grave has buried you? Has hope died? Are you buried in a grave of disappointment and guilt? The powerful God who changed Lazarus' circumstances can change your's, too! Jesus is still the resurrection and the life (John 11:25). Trust and obey Him today!

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ