Love is not afraid to be in the presence of brokenness. Love is not afraid of the stench of death. Staring down the tomb of his friend Lazarus, Jesus says, “Take away the stone” (11:38). If there was a stone that needed to be moved in your life right now, what would it be? If there is a boulder keeping out love, what is it? Is it addiction? Is it hate? Is it refusing love? Is it fear of change? What is it that is keeping you from the love of God? “Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days” (11:39). The King James Version says, “He stinketh!” Who do you know that is living in the stench of death? Do you have a family member that is trapped in a cycle of death? Do you have a friend that you have written off? You know what it is like. We say things like, “there is no hope,” or “they are too far gone.” We are like Martha, “They stinketh!”
But Jesus demands. He prays. And, “he cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out’”(11:43). Here is what love can do. Love can walk into a hopeless moment and bring hope. Love can speak life into death. There is not a stone too big that can hold back the love of God. Love gives life.