“By the time Jesus arrived in Bethany, Lazarus had been entombed four days.  . . . And many people consoled Martha and Mary on the loss of their brother.

“. . . When Mary saw Jesus, she knelt at his feet and said, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.’ 

“When Jesus saw her and those with her weeping, he was deeply moved.  ‘Where have you put him?’ he asked. 

“‘Come and see, Lord,’ they answered.  Then, Jesus wept.  . . . And at the tomb, a cave with a stone blocking the entrance, he demanded, ‘Remove the stone.’

“‘But Lord,’ said Martha, ‘by now he stinks.  It’s already been four days.’”

John 11, from verses 17-39


Notes for Contemplation as You Use this Devotional:

  • This passage continues the story by the Gospel Writer called John about the raising of Lazarus. To fully appreciate how it applies to our lives, read it from a mystical, metaphysical perspective, rather than a literal one.
  • Jesus, who represents our Christ consciousness (our anointed, most spiritually mature self), weeps with compassion for the situation. So, in lovingkindness, he offers a remedy: remove the obstacle which blocks the healing.
  • Lazarus represents an aspect of our lives which is stuck. And, for whatever reason, we’ve been in the situation so long that it stinks.
  • Martha and Mary attempt to play the blame game with Jesus. And the mourners with them are like perpetual worriers and naysayers who support their “stinkin’ thinkin’.”
  • To clear our obstacle, we must discover the thing within us (not a particular person or situation itself) which blocks our way. While this obstacle may shield us from feeling pain, it also blocks our best path.
  • As Former Directors of Unity Prayer Ministry Mary-Alice and Richard Jafolla teach in The Lazarus Blueprint: Ancient Secrets for Healing and Inner Peace, only we can determine what is keeping us stuck. And they assure us, “This may sound like bad news, but it is actually good news. It means as soon as you discover what this obstacle is, you will have taken a giant step in the direction of freedom.  Only one entrance led into that cave of Lazarus, and only one way leads to the solution to your situation, and that one way is through you.  There is no other way” (p. 48).


Contemplation Questions:

As you reflect on your life and circumstances, ask yourself:

  • How am I squandering my divine life energy by playing the blame game and saying:
    • “If only I / they had . . .”
    • “What if I / they did . . .”
    • “Why didn’t I / they . . .”
    • “I wish I / they knew . . .”
    • “I / They should have . . .”
    • “I would have, if they . . .”
      • Without analysis or judgment, like a brain dump, list, word map, or illustrate whichever things you still say.
  • What are my justifications, if any, for staying stuck?
    • Without analysis or judgment, list, word map, or illustrate the justifications.
    • Then, review each one, and list, word map, or illustrate how they obstruct your path.
  • When I consider a challenge I want to overcome, which of the following is the one (1) main obstacle holding me back?
    • Anger
    • Belief
    • Blame
    • Fear
    • Habit
    • Resentment
    • Shame
    • Unforgiveness
      • To identify this obstacle (which usually feels extremely heavy or exhausting), take time for quiet daily contemplation. Breathe deeply, in through your nose and out through your mouth.  Gently tune into your body and patiently allow the obstacle to reveal itself.
  • What are at least three (3) empowering things I can do to remove this obstacle?
    • Gently close your eyes and breathe deeply, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Visualize yourself removing the obstacle with strength and ease, as if it were a feather.
    • Then, list, word map, or illustrate as much as you can to clear it.


The willingness to remove our obstacle is a tremendous step.  As a dear friend and I sometimes remind one another: “We need to get out of our own way.”  So, while the Lazarus of us may feel confined, our Christ consciousness is ready and eager to declare: “I now remove this obstacle from my life, from my body, and from my mind, forever, and for good.”


© 2022 – Rev. Jennifer L. Sacks – All rights reserved.

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