Have you ever imagined how Lazarus must have felt after being dead for a couple of days and suddenly being called back to life after hearing Jesus’ voice? I imagine it was a bit like when we hear someone calling our name to wake us from a deep sleep—you know, that feeling when you’re not sure where you are? I imagine Lazarus tried to open his eyes and look around but wasn’t able to see anything. His body was completely wrapped in grave clothes. Dead people at that time were completely rolled up in a white cloth, such that they were covered from head to toe. No inch was left uncovered. Picture an Egyptian mummy.
Blinded by the cloth, he would have relied on his other senses. He had heard Jesus’ voice, and probably could hear the crowd waiting to see what would happen. Next, he would have been hit by the stench of corpses lying around him. His mind would have quickly flashed back to before he died. He would have remembered sweating in bed with a heavy fever, drifting away, and feeling life leave his body.
It must have been a real struggle for Lazarus when Jesus commanded, “Lazarus! Come forth!” His Lord had called him back to life and commanded him to come out. He had to obey, but he was still bound and gagged by the grave clothes.
He nevertheless did his best and managed to somehow hop to the door of the grave. It was at this point Jesus intervened:
The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” — John 11:44
Lazarus had experienced the miracle of second life, but he was still bound. Here we see that Jesus not only gave him life, but set him free.
This is one of the most interesting illustrations on the importance of freedom in Christ. It is one thing to experience the miracle of salvation, yet another to experience the joy of freedom in Christ. When you were saved, you were not merely introduced to another way of living on earth. It was more than that. You were introduced to a new life in Christ—a life of freedom in Jesus. You were not just set free to be free. You were set free to serve, and that is what we want to focus on during this series of devotionals.
- Have you ever asked Jesus to set you free?
- Do you feel bound by something that is limiting you from serving God?
Lord help me to rediscover the joy and freedom of serving You this month. Help me serve You wholeheartedly from today on. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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