Let’s look at our next section of this amazing miracle …
41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”
43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.
Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
45 Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. 46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin.
“What are we accomplishing?” they asked. “Here is this man performing many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.”
49 Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, “You know nothing at all! 50 You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.”
Jesus has the onlookers get involved in this resurrection event. He commands them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” (v. 44).
I’m sure it is a sacrilege to try to imagine that scene in the following way, but I can’t help it. I picture Lazarus having to spin around so that the burial wrappings could be removed. Some of you have played that game in which you hold the small end of a baseball bat and put the large end on the ground and you spin around three times real fast and then let go of the bat and promptly stagger around like you’re drunk and you then fall to the ground? That’s how I picture what’s happened to the new Lazarus!
He is now free. He is now alive again. He is now, uh, naked. Mostly. But who cares about propriety at such a time as this? He’s back with his family. I wonder what he experienced just before Jesus raised him from the dead? (to be continued)