And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.
This is the perfect title for us before we know Christ—”he that was dead,” for no matter what else we were, we were spiritually dead. We were heading for hell. We were separated from God. We were in a grave, buried in the darkness, bound up in the graveclothes of sin. It is a miserable state to be in, full of decay and pain. We were always unwhole somehow no matter what else we filled our lives with. All we were doing was wasting away, ready to slip off into an eternity of torment.
But in the midst of that wretched state we were in, a loud voice cries out to us. He calls us by name to come out from the bondage of sin and into a glorious new life in Him. He says to us, “Come forth.” He reaches down His mercy from on high and plucks us from the grave. He crosses the divide that separated us from Him. He removes those things that had kept us bound. He invites us to come out from our former state and become something else.
And though we had been so paralyzed before, so helpless, so inert in that state, once His voice breaks through, our feet move of their own volition and pull us forth into the presence of our Savior. We are compelled by His love and by His Spirit to come unto Him and receive forgiveness, healing, eternal life. We were dead, and now we are alive. We were a stinking, decaying body, but now we are whole. We were residents of hell, but now we have a home in heaven.
What a glorious truth this is. What an amazing thing that was done by our Lord Jesus Christ. Gone is our association with death. We were dead, but that is past. So may we come forth into the brightness of day, shedding those things that once associated us with the grave, and go forward into the new life that Jesus has given to us. May each breath fill us with a new appreciation for life—both our life here on earth serving the Lord and the hope of an eternal life with Him. And may we never lose the wonder of a dead man returning to life when that is exactly what happened to us when we accepted Jesus as our Savior.