After Jesus had prayed to His Father, standing outside the open door of Lazarus’ tomb and surrounded by Martha, Mary, and the Jews, He shouted with a great voice “Lazarus, come forth!”

And Lazarus came out, bound hand and foot in the graveclothes, and with his head wrapped in a burial covering. “Unwrap him,” said Jesus, “and let him go.”

Not only had Jesus’ word given Lazarus life instantly, but it had carried him, bound in the graveclothes as he was, out of the tomb. And the first thing he needed in his new life was to be set free from all the restraints of his burial cloths.

And so it is with us. Jesus’ word brings life to us while we are dead in sin. Then, although we have received new life, we discover that we are still bound up in the old life, with all its habits and desires. Jesus then begins the process of setting us free from all of those, many times using others to help us.

As Lazarus, freed at last from the graveclothes and head covering, walked home that day, he had a completely new life. He would never look at death the same way again; he had a Friend Who had just demonstrated that He was Life Himself. Death could not touch Him, and He has the power to raise whomever He chooses out of death and into life.

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