"The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with bandages, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Unbind him, and let him go." - John 11:44
Our approach to the tomb of the one who took back all of his power by refusing to succumb to the forces of death and despair never really gets old.
Confidence in God's desire to give life through death and life despite death is an assurance that we can never get enough of.
But the resurrection is about something more than life beyond the tomb. The resurrection is also about the liberation of those who've been revived.
After Jesus called Lazarus back from death, Jesus commanded that the apparel, which once bound Lazarus to the grave, be removed so that Lazarus could be free to live.
In 1775 Patrick Henry stood before the Virginia Convention in Richmond and declared "Give me liberty, or give me death!"
Life isn't really worth living without freedom: freedom of thought, freedom of conscience and freedom to pursue one's own happiness. The miracle of resurrected life is never fully realized as long as the shrouds of death and cessation encumber us.
Perhaps Jesus directed those around Lazarus to unbind him in order to help them fully understand that he who had died was alive again. Make room for him on the streets. Honor his presence in your midst. Call his name and expect him to answer. Respect his life as much as you respect your own. He's alive again.
Who do you need to help get untangled from the shadows of the past? And whom has God sent to help disengage you from your own despair?
God, let the fabric of our lives be forever interwoven with freedom.
Kenneth L. Samuel is Pastor of Victory for the World Church, Stone Mountain, Georgia.