John 11:44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave clothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them,Loose him, and let him go.
Lazarus was a personal friend of Jesus. It is without question that Jesus stayed at the house in Bethany many times. Yet when Lazarus fell sick, and seeing the lack of medical resources available, Mary and Martha sent word for Jesus to come quickly and heal their brother. The Bible describes the Lord purposely waiting several extra days before making His way to the scene. By the time that Jesus arrived, Lazarus had been dead and buried for four days. They said, “by this time he stinketh.”
This was as pivotal juncture in the ministry of Jesus, but equally as important in the life of every believer.
The lessons here are literally layered in a fashion too grand for this small communique. Yet I point to the Voice of the Master Who called Lazarus from the grave and the things that Jesus did not do. Jesus told them to roll back the stone. After He called Lazarus forth, He told them to unloose him; unravel his grave clothes and set him free. Jesus, Who raised the dead, could have rolled back the stone all by Himself. He could have unraveled those grave clothes by the sound of His own Voice. He certainly had the power to set Lazarus free without anyone stepping forward, but herein lies the lesson for the church: He will transform them – resurrect them – but we must untangle them. He will give them a new spirit, but we must remove the obstacles from their path and untangle their remaining constraints. I urge us all to do the work that the Lord has left for us to do. He will bring them out, but we must usher them in. He will breathe new life into them, but we must work to provide them a place. This is the call to the church. It is our mission to seek and restore lost souls.
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole