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Devotional - week of September 16, 2001


LOOSE THEM!

And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go  John 11:44.

Jesus had cried, “Lazarus, come forth.” And Lazarus “came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth.”

 

Lazarus came forth full of life. But because of the graveclothes, he was terribly uncomfortable and frustrated. He could not see; he could not hear; he could not talk; he could not walk. He could neither fellowship nor rejoice with his sisters—and with Jesus.

 

Jesus said to his disciples, “Loose him, and let him go.” The graveclothes were removed and Lazarus was free.

 

Not long after the Lazarus event, Jesus said that those who live in continual trust in Him would do the kinds of works that He did—but they would be greater works. Jesus meant that those of continual trust in Him would do for people spiritually what He did for people physically.

 

The raising of Lazarus is a perfect illustration of one of the works Jesus had in mind. Those living in continuing trust in Jesus tell non-Christians about the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. When the Father draws them to Jesus, the spiritually dead are raised to life.

 

All of God’s children are overflowing with spiritual life because God’s Spirit lives in them. But all must be “loosed.” Some do not hear God. Some are morally lame. Some are spiritual lepers. Some cannot talk of the things of God.

 

Jesus would say to us, “Loose them.” And we can. We tell them of their own crucifixion, burial, and resurrection and how to experience them. When they understand and respond positively to what we have taught them, the graveclothes will begin to fall away.

 

We live as God’s miracle workers by continuing to experience our own crucifixion, burial, and resurrection; and by sharing our experience with others.