By Brooke Holt
"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 had 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 a cloth. Jesus said to them, ‘Unbind him, and let him go.’” John 11:41-44
Have you ever witnessed a miracle – something you could not rationally understand or explain? The disciples of Jesus had seen many miracles since they began their journey with Jesus but nothing like this one. Jesus did what nobody had ever done – brought someone from death to life.
The miracle begins when Jesus tells those at Lazarus’ grave to do the unthinkable – take away the stone covering the grave. Despite Martha’s concern about the smell, the people obey Jesus. Once that stone is removed, Jesus lifts his eyes and prays to his Father. Following the prayer, Jesus issues another unexpected command: “Lazarus, come out” (John 11:43). How could a dead man emerge from the tomb on his own? Only by the power and command of Jesus!
The people obeyed by removing the stone at the grave and then Lazarus obeyed by coming out from the tomb wearing all his grave clothes. No one questioned who he was or what had happened. With just a prayer and some words, Jesus brought a dead man back to life. Now, more work needed to be done. Jesus gave yet another command. This time he told them to unbind Lazarus from his grave clothes and set him free.
Think about it. Lazarus could have stayed in those grave clothes, could have stayed focused on what had happened to him, or he could fully receive the miracle and walk in the freedom Jesus had given him. You have the same choice. Jesus has worked a miracle for you and in you. He died on behalf of your sins, was buried, and on the third day rose again that you might not just be forgiven but live in his resurrected life.
To live a resurrected life means that you, too, need to shed your grave clothes. What do your grave clothes look like? Guilt of past sins, lies, shame, fear, anything hinders you from living in the freedom Christ offers you. Jesus died that you may live free! Like Lazarus, you are his miracle. You, too, have been saved from death, sin, and Satan. May you live in that miraculous freedom today!
Ask the Lord if there are any barriers to you living free in him today then ask him to help you remove those grave clothes and to embrace his miraculous work for you. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
The Resurrected Life: Making All Things New - The Bible promises that those who are in Christ are "new creatures." But how does that transformation take place? This unique Easter-season small group Bible study provides a space in which we can discover what it truly means to live a new life. As we listen, we'll learn how the resurrection of Jesus Christ changes everything - for us.
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