Slow your mind for a moment, and imagine the questions Lazarus must have fielded after his resurrection. (John 11)
- What was dying like?
- After you took that first breath, were you surprised you were bound?
- How many people did it take to set you free?
- How did you feel when you looked again into the eyes of Jesus and your sisters?
What a process Lazarus went through! Sickness had taken its toll. We don’t know if it was something he ate, something he contracted, or something lying dormant that suddenly decided to go on a rampage. Most likely, he was unconscious before his last exhale. Soon afterward, he had some time in the tomb. Time to wake up. Time to hear Jesus call his name. Time to hop out of the tomb. And time to be totally and completely undone.
UNDONE FOR A PLAN
Jesus’ friendship with Lazarus, Mary, and Martha was no accident. He is much too intentional for such things. All their days were planned before a single one came to be. (Psalm 139:16)
I hope you’re resting in knowing God has your life planned as well! He’s already chosen specific people to cross your path tomorrow. He sees the state you are in this very minute, and He knows what lies ahead. Through Jesus and His Spirit, He wants to form a friendship with you. Yes, a real, honest-to-goodness friendship. Through that friendship you will learn to trust Him to take you to all the best places. You cannot go where He doesn’t already know you’re headed. Every route, whether scenic or dreary, is planned and well-intended. He’ll hold your hand along the way – especially in the dark places. You might not be able to see where you’re going, but He sees!
UNDONE FOR POWER
There is no doubt in my mind that Jesus slowly and intentionally prepared Lazarus for his death and resurrection. Only great power can chart the course of a resurrection! Jesus may not have spelled out the reason for every step they took, but I feel sure every interaction helped fill Lazarus with powerful love and courage. These qualities empowered him to share his testimony when the big day arrived. Just imagine the scoffers. The religious. The haters. The friends who doubted. It takes great power to overcome unbelief!
To us, sometimes our journey may feel like a wild goose chase or a cruise straight to hell, but Jesus has the power to turn every path into something good. Our friendship with Him continually prepares us for a powerful testimony – one that hopefully excites others enough to book their own trip. Since He doesn’t want anyone to miss out, He is slow in taking us to heaven so that more and more people will have the opportunity to climb aboard His ship on the Last Day. (1 Peter 3:9)
UNDONE FOR A PURPOSE
It was Lazarus’ death and resurrection that created the final load of angst in the jealous, religious crowd which ultimately sent Jesus to the cross. Not every path either of them traveled was enjoyable, but thankfully, every path led to having our sin bill paid in full.
Not all of your paths will be enjoyable either. Some will break your heart, while others will threaten your peace and security, but every path has a purpose. Every path can lead to your freedom! When you exchange your own highlighted map for the one Jesus marked for you, He will call your name, command you to step out of the darkness, and He will set you free. Then, you can experience the joy of setting someone else free!
Go ahead, and step into the process of being totally and completely undone. Realize the things you need to change. If you’re not sure, ask a good friend to tell you, and then don’t give them a hard time for telling you. Return to your dark place if you need to. Talk to a counselor if you’re still scared of that dark. Listen for the voice of Jesus through His Word. When He calls you out of something, know it’s for your own good. Let your friends and family get close enough to love the grave clothes off of you.
Freedom finders feel fabulous! I know, because He set me free!
“So if the Son sets you free, you really will be free.”John 8:36, CSB