Jn.11:38,39 – Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”

When we see the groaning of Jesus as He approached Lazarus’ tomb we can somehow identify with His emotions. Jesus is groaning within Himself as He looked at the condition of the world. Everyday we are all faced with sickness, death, unbelief, compromise; sometimes the only thing we know to do is groan. Could it be that our groaning is actually lining up with the compassion of the Lord? Could this be the conflict between the world we live in and the kingdom of God breaking in on us? That is exactly what Jesus was facing that day. His actions, raising Lazarus from the dead, would accentuate the conflict that was in the world. Sometimes it takes groaning and bold action to bring things out into the light. Augustine touches on this in His comments about today’s verses.

“Why did Christ trouble himself except to intimate to you how you should be troubled when you are weighed down and crushed by so great a mass of iniquity? For here you have been looking to yourself, seeing your own guilt, doing an accounting of yourself. I have done this, and God has spared me. I have committed this, and he has still stayed with me. I have heard the gospel and despised it. I have been baptized and returned again to my old habits. What am I doing? Where am I going? How shall I escape? When you speak in this way, Christ is already groaning, for your faith is groaning. In the voice of one who groans like this, the hope of that person’s rising again comes to light. If this kind of a faith is within, Christ is there too, groaning. For if there is faith in us, Christ is in us…”

For us the breakthrough begins in us. We have to dig down deep inside and let the groans of Jesus, the groan of the Spirit, take hold in our lives. When that happens the compromises are exposed and we begin to see the conflict even in our own life more clearly. The groans give place to words and actions. Roll away the stone, Lazarus come forth. We no longer have to stay hidden in the tomb, we can come out into His light of day.

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