My family and I love to sit and watch animated movies. Yes, we have younger kids, even still my wife and I love them. One of our most recent movies we watched is Hotel Transylvania. Let me say, I don’t believe in vampires, werewolves or mummies. One of my favorite character’s is the mummy. The movie however is silly and makes us laugh. After watching this movie I was studying for a sermon and was drawn to the story of Lazarus being raised from the dead. Follow my thinking here, give me a chance.
John 11:43-44 43 Then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in graveclothes, his face wrapped in a headcloth. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!”
Follow along with me here. Lazarus was dead, had been for 4 days. We focus a lot on the fact that Jesus raised him from the dead. Rightfully so. The power that Jesus showed that he could and would defeat death. What we sometimes miss is the fact the Lazarus, after Jesus called to him in the grave, comes to life, but is still bound up, as he comes forth.
We, like Lazarus, are alive but we are bound up by the sin in our lives. You see, his hands and feet were bound. His face was covered. Each of these can help us see how we need Jesus to set us free.
His Hands were bound, so he could not raise them in prayer and worship of Jesus. In Exodus 17: 11 we read ‘ As long as Moses held up the staff in his hand, the Israelites had the advantage, but whenever he dropped his hands the Amalekites gained the advantage”. You ever feel like you can’t gain the advantage over the crazy world? The stress of life, bills, health, all the stuff that seems to keep you bound? Well that is the enemy’s way of keeping our hands from being raised to God in worship and prayer. When we raise our hands in worship to God, we have the wonderful power and Grace from God to free those things that bind our hands.
His feet were bound also. Satan wants to bind our feet, so we will not run after or follow Jesus. Jesus calls us to follow him. The scriptures are full of the calling to his creation to come to him. To follow Jesus means we will Imitate him. Be like him, Loving and Serving. Satan does not want you to do that, because it is easier to catch something that is not moving. He can’t bind you up if you are running after God.
His face was covered. With his face being covered, he can’t see, hear or taste the goodness of God. We should be seeking God. We can see Him if we are truly looking for Him. We can hear him if we are listening to him. We can taste his goodness in the blessings we have. Satan doesn’t want us to be able to do any of that. He wants to bind our thoughts, vision, and other sense’s so we can’t catch a glimpse of God’s love, grace and compassion for us.
Jesus tells the people around Lazarus’ grave, “unbind him and let him go”
That is what we, the followers of Jesus are called to do. Help unbind you from the sin that Satan is using against you, with the power of God, and help you walk with raised hands to God, so you can see, hear, and taste God’s goodness.
How can we help you? Is there something in your life that you feel is binding you up? Join a fellowship of local believers and let them walk beside you in this life and work together to be unbound.
Pastor Joe Rhonemus is from Resurrection Crossing, 552 Country Club Drive and guest columnist.