While Lazarus' tomb may not be a pit in the strictest sense of the word, it certainly fits for our purposes.
As this story unfolds, we see it from two different perspectives.
First, we see the story through the eyes of Lazarus' loving sisters, Mary and Martha. They must have had their own sizable pit deep in their stomachs when they realized that the only one that could save their brother didn't show.
And we see it from Jesus' point of view. He had to deal with his own anguish, seeing those He loved hurt so much, even when He knew that He was going to give them more than they could ask or imagine.
Interestingly enough, Lazarus' voice is missing in the story. We don't hear much from him, even in reaction. He was simply in the pit, and then he was out of it, and I kind of picture him as slightly bewildered, wondering what just happened.
This story is clearly for those who love someone who has fallen into a pit.
Mary and Martha did everything right. They knew who to turn to. They knew who to ask. They knew who had the power to fix it all. And yet they were met with silence.
Jesus got the request. He knew what was happening. And He chose to not act immediately. He chose to make a great story an even greater testimony.
When He finally arrived to help, Martha told him it was too late. Lazarus was sealed in the pit forever. He was too far gone. He had passed the point of no return. There was no getting out of this pit. In fact, she was more concerned with how he would smell at this point.
"He stinks too bad. There is no saving him."
We might say today:
"His sin has gone on for too long. There is no saving him."
"She has told one too many lies. There is no saving her."
"He has hurt too many people. There is no saving him."
But Jesus wanted to make a point. There is no one that is beyond saving. No matter how deep their pit. No matter how sealed in they seem to be. And no matter how stinky they are.
Jesus only has to say the word and they are out of their pit, on solid ground, and with no smelly smells at all!
And Jesus said, "Father, thank you for hearing me."
Your Father hears you. When you love someone, you pray and you are heard.
Even if God seems silent, He hears you. When you love someone, God's silence is really only God's preparation.
And He is preparing to do more than you can ask or imagine.
All that is required of us is to trust.