“Loose Him and Let Him Go!”
Are you bound hand and foot with grave clothes that God never meant for you to wear? When the miracle happened in Bethany and the dead man stood before them, the people saw a power that reversed all their expectations. Lazarus was alive! Yes, and “bound hand and foot” (John 11:44) with a napkin over his face. How unsuitable now were the grave clothes that they had so carefully wrapped about him! “Loose him, and let him go!” (John 4:11) Jesus commanded. How obvious. But how many resurrected souls stand today just as immobilized as the risen Lazarus in the doorway of his tomb?
Jesus has called us to walk in newness of life, but how often we find ourselves encumbered by the best of our own efforts. Our treasured ideals take many forms. Perhaps we are like Naaman, the Syrian captain. We have high expectations of God’s power—and high expectations for ourselves. There will be no muddy Jordan for us! Blinded by fury, bound by our pride, we are ready to forsake our own deliverance. O soul, will you not just do “this small thing” and see God’s unleashed power for you? It is only when we cast off our grave clothes that we find that even the dirt in a prophet’s yard is more valuable than all the honors of this earth.
The hospitable Martha thought that her “much preparation,” her carefulness, her concern for justice would please the Master best. And did He not care that she was fretting over the meal alone? Much more than she knew. Enough to show her that He never intended for her to be bound by fret and trouble. In all her stress over perfection, He laid His finger on the one thing that was needful. Perfect trust, perfect rest.
And what about Mary? Didn’t the “spiritual one” have her priorities straight? Certainly her insights were far reaching. Was it at Jesus’ feet she grasped the reality that death was in His near future? Was not her ardor unselfish and pure as she spent her fortune in anticipation? But the Mary who thought that her greatest honor would be to anoint His dead body, ended up pouring the hoarded spikenard in abandonment on His feet. At the tomb of her brother she had found the Lord of Life, and what was her resources to His, after all? As wraps for the dead, only fit to be cast off and abandoned. All our highest ideals in serving the Lord must be cast off if we will walk in the power of His life.
Hobbled by fretting and doubt. Hindered indeed from seeing your Lord as He is, from experiencing the life He so desires to lead you in. Is this your experience? Consider Him who wept in Bethany. Does He not care that you are bound? When Jesus called you to “Come forth!” did He not also intend for you to be freed? Freed indeed from your own thoughts, your best efforts, your vain trying to be what only God can accomplish by your abandonment to Him. Oh, troubled soul, do you hear the Master’s command for you? “Loose him, and let him go!”