“Roll the stone aside,” Jesus told them. But Martha, the dead man’s sister, protested, “Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible.”—JOHN 11:39 NLT
Jesus had been a frequent visitor to Martha’s home. Now He has come again to raise her brother from the dead. If you asked Martha, if Jesus had come when they first asked Him to, her brother wouldn’t be dead. Now He wants to open up the tomb. Martha doesn’t understand any of it.
When Jesus asks for the tomb to be opened, Martha doesn’t express amazement that Jesus intends to raise her brother from the dead. Instead, she’s worried about the smell.
Aren’t we often like that? God tells us to do something, to take a step of faith, to do our part so He can work. Instead of focusing on what God’s going to do, we worry about how it’s going to affect us.
It’s also interesting that Jesus asked for the stone to be moved. If He was about to resurrect a dead body, moving a stone from in front of the tomb was a small thing. But He wanted their participation. He wanted them to put their faith in action. If they believed He was really going to raise a body that had been dead four days, then moving the stone from the tomb was the first step to show their faith.