41 Then they took away the stone. Then Jesus raised up His eyes and said: “Father, I thank You that You heard Me.”
42 “I knew that You always hear Me, but I said this because of the crowd standing around that they might believe that You sent Me.”
Perhaps we can picture the scene as some of the mourners obey the command of Jesus to remove the stone from the entrance to the tomb. A stone was placed at the entrance to tombs to prevent wild animals gaining access.
Amongst the crowd some would have been filled with horror, dreading the scene of decomposition. This is avoided in this is country. When a body is to be exhumed it is usually done during the night or in the early hours of the morning and away from public gaze.
There would have been those who had an unhealthy interest in what a decomposing body would look like; much like those who gather at the scene of a disaster, not to help, but to gaze on the scene with a morbid interest.
Then there would have been those who were waiting and wondering what Jesus was going to do.
Then they heard Jesus praying.
This is one of those few occasions in the New Testament where we are privileged to hear the prayers of Jesus. We will come across another one in John chapter 17. Perhaps we are all more familiar with the prayer that Jesus uttered in the garden of Gethsemane: “Father, if You are willing, take this cup away from Me. Nevertheless, let Your will take place and not Mine”.
Let us look at some of the things that we can learn from this prayer of Jesus.
1 It may seem obvious but Jesus addressed His prayer to God, and He calls Him ‘Father’. In this Jesus was emphasizing His claim to be the Son of God, and to be one with and equal with God. In what is known as the Lord’s prayer, Jesus instructs us to call God our Father. We are able to do this because Jesus paid the price of our sin and as brought us into a new and living relationship with God, whereby we can call Him Father.
In 1 John 3.1 John wrote: Look at the kind of love the Father has given to us that we should be called the children of God, and we are.
As the children of God we are privileged to call God ‘Father’.