In Sunday’s sermon, I will be preaching on the extraordinary raising of Lazarus from John 11. In case you’re not familiar with the story, here’s a quick recap.
Jesus gets word that one of his closest friends is ill. But by the time he arrives, his friend Lazarus has already died. Jesus asks to be taken to the tomb where they have laid the body, and then he says something shocking: “Take away the stone.” Nobody wants to take the away stone because Lazarus’ un-embalmed body has been in that tomb for four days, and you can imagine…well, some things are better left unsaid. Nevertheless, they do what Jesus asks. Then Jesus does something even more shocking. “Lazarus, come out!” he cries, and the dead man walks out of the tomb, still wrapped in his graveclothes. “Unbind him!” Jesus says at the end of the story, “Let him go.”
“Unbind him! Let him go.” These are good words; they are mighty powerful words. Mighty enough to bring a dead man out of the tomb. Mighty enough to bring change and light, hope and life to us too.
“Unbind him! Unbind her! Let them go!” Jesus says to you and to me.
What has you bound? What has you confined? What has you wrapped so tight that all you can manage are tentative, stilted, shuffling steps when God wants us to leap and dance and shout with joy? Life is supposed to be filled with joy!
“I came that you might have life,” Jesus says, “and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). Are you having abundant life? If your answer is no, then something has you bound. Something has you trapped.
Maybe it’s fear. Maybe it’s anxiety. Maybe it’s grief or anger, regrets or old wounds. Maybe it’s insecurity. Or a destructive, toxic relationship. Maybe it’s depression, stress, exhaustion, or addiction. Maybe it’s loneliness. Maybe it’s boredom. Maybe it’s a vision of your life that just doesn’t fit anymore.
Whatever it is, this is not what God intends for you or for me. Instead, God longs for us to be unbound, loosed from whatever it is that traps us, confines us, and keeps us from abundant life.
I’ll see you Sunday.
Worship at 8:15 and 10:30 a.m.
On-site at 302 South Main Street Eureka, Illinois
Online at eurekachristian.org/worship-online or facebook.com/eurekacc/live