Day 30: bound and unbound

8 04 2011

unbound, let go

In John 11, Jesus finally gets to where Mary and Martha were–a place called Bethany. Their brother Lazarus had been dead in the tomb for four days, and Jesus told some people there to remove the stone from the tomb. (Can you imagine that scene?) Then he said, “Lazarus, come out!” and out comes dead Lazarus, wrapped up in strips of cloth. Jesus then told the people, “take off the grave clothes and let him go.” (TNIV and NIV) Or, as the NRSV phrases is, “unbind him and let him go.”

Jesus not only displayed his power in raising the dead Lazarus to life, but he also gave the loved ones power and authority to unbind Lazarus, to let him go, to unwrap him and let him loose. (The Message) I have read various articles and commentaries over the years that suggest Jesus is calling us to unbind ourselves from personal tombs. Jesus calls us to let go of the things that are holding onto us, and we to them.

The amount of physical stuff we hold onto—at least in this country—is shocking. I am guilty of this, too. I’m making progress, I’m happy to say, but have a long way to go. This weekend is our church’s rummage sale, and so it’s a very visible reminder of how much we have that we don’t need.

But we hold onto more than the physical stuff. We hold onto a lot of emotional, spiritual, and psychological stuff as well. It isn’t as simple as dropping off a few boxes at the rummage sale. Letting go of our non-physical stuff, letting Jesus unbind us from our personal tombs of baggage… it seems hard. But maybe it isn’t. Maybe we actually make it harder than it needs to be?

Whatever we are holding onto, whatever is standing in the way of us and living freely in Christ, may the same Christ who loved Mary, Martha and Lazarus also be present to us, helping us to become unbound and let go.