(John 11:44) “And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.”
We aren’t sure about the details of the friendship between Mary, Martha, their brother Lazarus and Jesus. But one thing we do know for sure – Jesus loved the three of them. Even though He identified Himself as “the resurrection and the life” in this passage, the death of Lazarus affected the human side of Jesus so much, in John 11:33 we find two words written about it in the shortest verse in Scripture: “Jesus wept.” But in verse 44 we see Lazarus raised miraculously from the dead and his body comes forth from the grave still bound in his burial clothing. Lazarus was a resurrected man! He was alive from the dead! But there was only one problem – he was still bound in the graveclothes.
Graveclothes are not meant to be worn by living people. The resurrected Lazarus was bound. Lazarus was constricted. He could not move freely. He was wearing a constant reminder of his death – which was now in the past. The stench of death was gone. Now Lazarus was free to walk in liberty.
Too many times we cling to our graveclothes as believers. We insist on wearing them as we remain bound to vain traditions of men. We stumble bound hand and foot unable to exercise freedom from guilt. The old garments we wore in our spiritual death adorn us because we vainly try to unwrap ourselves. Rather than be loosened, we become entangled to a greater degree. We are unable to see because our face is covered with the burial napkin. Our vision is blocked and we trust in our blind ability to handle the problem. Though Jesus loves us as much as He ever loved Lazarus we miss the answer in plain view. It is Jesus who resurrected our spirit from the dead and it is Jesus alone who can remove the graveclothes and declare us free. Even now He is declaring the same thing for you and me that He declared for Lazarus – “Loose him and let him go.”
Renewed Thought – It is time to remove the reminders of death that so easily bind us. It is time to put on a new garment and a new identity. (Ephesians 4:24) “And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”