DayBreaks for 04/17/12 – Loose Him
John 11:43-44 (NLT)
43 (NLT) Then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in grave clothes, his face wrapped in a head cloth. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!”
I think it is accurate to say that my favorite chapter in the New Testament is John 11. It isn’t a chapter that is full of deep theology but it is a chapter of deep truth and emotion. It is the chapter where Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. Any time that I see a movie of the life of Jesus, that is my favorite scene. I recently (on Easter) saw a movie about Jesus that has Jeremy Sisto as Jesus, and the scene was great.
That being said, there has always been something about the historical record that has puzzled me, and it is found in the verses shown earlier. It doesn’t puzzle me that Jesus speaks and even the dead respond. It isn’t that Lazarus was able to come out of the tomb, even though he was still bound. What puzzled me was that Jesus asks the bystanders to “Unwrap him and let him go!”
You may recall that in a few short days, Jesus will himself be killed and rise from the dead. But what happens when he rises? He seems to pass right through the grave clothes and wrappings, leaving them intact and in place, just “collapsed” when the body left the wrapping behind. Based on the scene when the disciples arrive there, that seems to be the case. So why, when Lazarus rose from the dead, was it necessary for someone to unwrap him and “let him go!”?
I wish I knew. I’m not smart enough that I can figure it out. But I suspect that it may have something to do with Jesus wanting us to learn that he is the one who gives life, but that we have a role to play in unbinding and setting people free. We cannot provide the life, only Jesus can do that. But he looks at us and issues to us the command to unwrap those whom He has given new life and to let them go!
PRAYER: Thank you, Jesus, for calling us out of our own death in sin. Thank you for those who have helped unwrap us and let us loose! Thank you for inviting us to join in the process of letting the dead free! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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