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 11:44, ESV)
Sometimes we miss read this portion of the story where Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead and once Lazarus was out of the tomb we may think Jesus told Lazarus to “take off the grave clothes.” But, in fact it was those standing near Lazarus that Jesus instructed to take off the grave cloths or unbind him. Lazarus was no longer dead, but he was still bound. It became the responsibility of others to set him free.
After experiencing various traumas, abuses, brokenness, depleted after experiencing trials, and being knocked down in life, people are sometimes nothing more than shells. We see them going through life and mistake their activities for living. They are going through the motions, interacting with others, going to work, school, and church, caring for home and family, doing the things that need to be done, but they are really nothing more than living, breathing zombies clothed in flesh. What a beautiful reminder through Jesus’ instruction to those gathered at the tomb of Lazarus that we have been given the ministry of care and healing to others. We have been given every spiritual tool we need to help unbind the bound. We have the task of helping set others free from their misery and pain. We are to bring a freeing, restorative word to them; based upon the promises and encouragement we have read in the Scriptures, heard through sermons and become equipped through the study of God’s Word.
Lazarus is everywhere and we can unbind him and her to live a full, productive, joy-filled life in Jesus. Let’s Pray,
Jesus you called Lazarus from the tomb, made him alive through your powerful, saving word but you enlisted the help of those around him to set him free. May we become those who not only recognize when someone needs to be set free but those who assist them in doing so. Amen
Reflective Questions for Soul-Tending:
How are you participating in this beautiful ministry of unbinding the bound?
How will you apply today’s message to your own plan of soul-care?