Some of my growing up years were spent on the shores of Wall Lake. For many of those years the carp over populated the lake. Then the winter of ’68 killed off most of the fish in the lake, including the carp. Once the ice went off the lake, the carp came to the surface and drifted with the wind. The local farmers came and loaded up their manure spreaders with dead fish. This created a terrific stench, which was especially noticeable when we were downwin. I also found out that a fish left on the shore swelled up so that when it was hit with a rock it blew up. Nasty smelling stuff would splatter everywhere.
The point of this passage is that there is no life in a putrid rotting body. Jesus was going to do a miracle on a body that everyone knew would have no life in it. Decomposition had gotten a firm grip on it. No one would open a tomb at this point unless absolutely necessary. It would be a very unpleasant experience for one’s sense of smell.
Sometimes life stinks, but God can change it completely. Through Jesus life can go from stinking like rotting fish to smelling like chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven.
“Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?” John 11:39-40.
© copyright Kevin T Boekhoff