In “awaiting his word” Jefferson Vann explains that the dead are like Lazarus, waiting for Jesus to wake them up.
John 11:41-44 (JDV)
John 11:40 Jesus said to her, “Didn’t I say to you that if you trusted you would see the glory of God?”
John 11:41 That was why they lifted the stone. Then Jesus lifted his eyes up and said, “Father, I am giving thanks you because you have heard me.
John 11:42 But I know that you always hear me, instead – because of the crowd standing around here I said this, so that they may trust that you sent me.”
John 11:43 After he said this, he screamed with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out here!”
John 11: 44 The dead man exited with the feet and the hands tied with linen strips and with his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Untie him and let him leave.”
awaiting his word
This COVID-19 crisis has taught us all that waiting is essential to life. We don’t always want to wait for what we need, but we are learning that some things cannot be rushed.
Jesus’ command to Lazarus (δεῦρο ἔξω) was for him to come out of that tomb, and join the crowd outside. He did not command Lazarus to come down ( καταβαίνω or κατέρχομαι ). He was sleeping in that tomb, and was woken up by his Saviour. He was unconscious before the words of Christ brought him back to life. Such is the case of all the dead. The Christian hope is not death, but rescue from death.
Lord, thank you for teaching us how to wait for you. We who are alive wait for you to overcome this present crisis, and for your word to transform us. Those who are asleep await the same word.
For more devotional thoughts from a conditionalist perspective, see: