"Take ye away the stone"

The common reference to the Bible as the Book of Life becomes doubly significant, when through the illuminating teachings of Christian Science it is seen that the experiences of the characters of the Bible are similar to experiences which you and I are facing to-day. Thus the spiriutal import of the lessons brought out in these experiences is seen to be applicable to the problems of mankind to-day. It is noticeable in the life of the meek and mighty man of Galilee, that in the performance of his works Jesus in many instances found something for his onlookers, as it were, to do. In the raising of Lazarus from the dead, recorded in John's gospel, he asks the friends and relatives of Lazarus, "Where have ye laid him?" Then when they reached the place the instruction followed, "Take ye away the stone."

There is a literal and there is a spiritual significance to all of the Scriptures, but it is always the spiritual import of the happenings of the Bible that is supreme to the student of Christian metaphysics. May not the spiritual value of this incident lie not in the removing of the material stone from the tomb, but rather in what this act signified? Materially speaking, the stone was the obstruction which had to be removed before the body of Lazarus could come from the grave; but metaphysically regarded, may not the stone stand for some belief entertained about the departed, and may not Jesus, metaphysician as he was, have realized that this belief would have to removed from the thought of those near to Lazarus? As soon as the stone was removed, Jesus gave the command, "Lazarus, come forth," and we read that "he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin." Then came the instruction, "Loose him, and let him go." It is noticeable in this connection that Jesus required them to undo all that they had done in relation to the entombing of Lazarus. So to-day do we not hear the command of the Master, "Take ye away the stone," remove that which may be acting as an impediment to our brother, and may be binding him in the tomb of materiality?

Declaration and Demonstration
November 12, 1921

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