Alive, Unbound and Free
Read John 11:38-44 (ESV)
Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” When he said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”
How is the raising of Lazarus an illustration of what happens to a sinner who places their faith in Christ?
Lazarus had been dead for four days. His body had begun to rot and decay. The smell would have been horrendous. But still, Jesus commanded that the stone be rolled away. Then, He commanded that a dead man listen and obey—and he did! When Jesus called his name, Lazarus, was raised from the dead and walked out alive.
There is no doubt that this is a miracle, a full-blown work of God. In verse 40, after Martha had objected to Jesus’ command that the stone be rolled away, He reminded her: “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” And when Jesus prayed out loud, He thanked the Father for hearing Him so that all of the people who were mourning with Mary and Martha would understand that it was God who sent Him. All of the doubters in verse 37 who had said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?” saw that Jesus' power goes beyond merely preventing death. Of course, Jesus could have kept Lazarus from dying. But He could also raise Him from the dead. The glory of God was on full display when Jesus raised Lazarus.
You know, when we go back to the Bible, we see that all of us were once dead and bound in our sin: “And you were dead in the trespasses and sin in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ..” (Ephesians 2:1-5).
If you have already accepted Christ as your Savior, you have been raised from your spiritual death! Your sin held you captive and the wages of your sin was death (Romans 6:23). You were dead in your sin. Like Lazarus, there was nothing you could do to save yourself. You were too far gone. But in Christ, you aren’t stuck in that tomb, rotting and decaying in your life of sin. You have been raised and are free to walk out into a new life. Praise God!
If you haven’t accepted Christ as Your Savior, what is stopping you? As we’ve studied the account of Jesus raising Lazarus, you’ve seen His love, His compassion, His glory, and His power. I urge you, don’t put it off another minute. In Him, you can be alive, unbound and set free, too.
Lord, thank You for raising me from the death my sins deserved. In You, I am set free and unbound. I praise You, Lord, because in You, I will be alive with You forever. Amen.
Reveal: Is someone you know and love still dead in their sin? Pray for them, that God would open their hearts to hear the Gospel. Then, share with them the amazing truth that in Christ, they can be alive, unbound, and set free.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford