Unbind and Be Free

Scripture     John 11: 1- 45


When he had said this, he cried out with a loud voice,

“Lazarus, come out!

The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth,

and his face wrapped in a cloth.

Jesus said to them,

 ‘Unbind him, and let him go free.”

Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary,

and had seen what Jesus did,

believed in him.



Jesus cried out with a loud voice three bold imperatives and Lazarus of Bethany came forth from the entrance of the cave experiencing resurrection from the dead. “Lazarus, come out! Unbind him, let him go free” (Jn. 11:44).


There are different levels of understanding in the Gospel of John. There is the historical level: the fact that a man who had been dead for four days comes back to life. This is a miracle that proclaims the glory, majesty and power of God, who is Lord of life and death. The crowd sees this glory and many believe.


There is the symbolic level. Aren’t we all Lazarus? Don’t we all need a miracle of resurrection to wake us up and free us to live the rest of our lives, fully alive! Are there not parts of each of us that are still bound up and left entombed, hidden in our unconscious out of fear, self-doubt or brokenness? Over time, these ‘shadow’ areas provoke a kind of negativity around us and within us, causing pain, hurt and ruptures in our relationships. This raising of Lazarus miracle is a powerful reminder to cry out for liberation and freedom…not just for ourselves but for others who suffer.   


Jesus wants us to rise up and become fully alive. He calls us out of those secret, darkened, tomblike places we carry around within us. “Be and become the person God wants YOU to be in nature, in grace and in glory, for time and for eternity” (M.P. 10:6). Truly, God has big plans for us. “I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full (Jn. 10:10). So, we must not settle down into the complacency of a small, mediocre, selfish lifestyle. “Come out! Unbind him, let him go free.” It is a commanding invitation to true freedom, creativity and possibility. Allow these words to effect in us a miracle of Love.

Our resurrection process begins when we obey the commands of Jesus to come into the light and allow the masks and pretenses to fall off. Today, just as in the Gospel account, Jesus asks others to do the unbinding. Spiritual directors, pastors and counselors offer this ministry of unbinding persons lost in their false selves and bound up in compulsive and addictive patterns of behaviours that are destructive to themselves and others. There needs to be a quality of trust and intimacy in these healing relationships – like the familiarity and friendship between Jesus and Lazarus – for the miracle of transformation to happen. Over time and with deep listening and trustful encounters, the masks fall off and “your hidden, true self grows strong” (Eph. 3:17). What a profound grace to witness. Rise up in love!

This week consider sharing your ‘Lazarus’ miracle story with a good friend over morning coffee.                                              


Carrying Grace        Unbind me, Jesus and let me be free.


#3 arletteh 2011-04-10 16:39
of fire, a flame of the Eternal One's Very Self."!(adapted , Song of Songs,Ch.8).
#2 arletteh 2011-04-10 16:30
When Jesus sees Mary and the community weeping for Lazarus, he is disturbed, most deeply moved and begins to weep. What great com-passion and love! Jesus calls them all to the tomb.Martha points out the impossibility of this case: Lazarus has been dead for four days. Then Jesus becomes peaceful , raises his eyes to heaven, addresses his Father with great confidence, gives thanks and calls out: Lazarus, come out!” “Unbind him!”
During Lent, we have entered into the sufferings of Jesus.But more, Jesus has entered into ours. The cross symbolizes this:the vertical beam connects heaven and earth(Jesus raised his eyes to the Father)All love is now part of God’s Great Love.The horizontal beam embraces all of the world’s sufferings, unbinds the bonds of our inner and outer structures.Deat h cannot hold the Life that rises from the Cross.This life is eternal,ever expanding to the More and going deeper to Love that is eternal,a love that is “Stronger than death; the flash of it is a flash of fire, a flame of the Eternal One’s Very Self!”(Song of Songs,ch.8).
#1 arletteh 2011-04-10 16:26
It’s quite amazing how John, the Evangelist, weaves his great interest in relationships with theology/spirit uality. At the centre are his three very close friends, Mary, Martha and Lazarus.Lazarus dies. His sisters and the community mourn him deeply. Martha hears of Jesus’ coming and runs to meet him. Mary stays with the mourners. She had already most extravagantly poured out her love for Jesus when she anointed his feet with perfume. She is at peace. In Martha’s great hopes for Jesus’ curing her brother, Jesus brings her from the “official” belief in a final resurrection to a personal belief in himself as the Resurrection. Martha returns home and tells Mary the Teacher is asking for her. Now Mary, who had learned to listen by sitting at the feet of Jesus, hearing his call, goes quickly to meet him.

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