St. John’s Gospel is divided into two parts. The first part is called the Book of Signs. And the second part, the second half is called the Book of Glory. The word signs mean miracles. And in that first half of the book, there are six stories of miracles that are told. There’s Jesus changing the water into wine at Canaan Galilee. And Jesus curing the Centurion son who was ill. And Jesus fraying the man who was paralyzed at the Pool of Siloam. And then last week, Jesus lifting the eyes of the man born blind. And then Jesus feeding the 5,000 with a few fish and a couple of pieces of bread. And now the sixth sign, the sign of raising Lazarus to life. And these signs were meant to tell us who this man is, who this Jesus is. Each one of them was to, if you will, announce a piece of His mission, a piece of His purpose. And then after this sign, we come to the Book of Glory and there is the great sign, the suffering, the death, and Jesus rising to glory. And that caps up the whole story.
Now, in one very real sense, the most important words of the story of Lazarus are the last words that Jesus speaks. “Unbind him, let him free.” Those five words, if you will, describe the full mission of Jesus. He is sent by the Father to live as one of us, and in accepting the fullness of what it is to be a human being, to destroy sin and to free us to the fullness of life. That’s the mission and that’s all summed up in those little words, those five words, “unbind him, set him free”. It’s the action of Jesus in every one of our lives, or every one of us or our lives, we are bound in some way. There is something that holds us from the fullness of the union with Him. And what we pray is that we be unbound. Jesus says, “Unbind him.” We pray that we’d be Unbound and thus be free, free to live the fullness of life. Jesus says, “I come to bring your life and life to the full.” When we become unbound people, we become free people and live our life to the full.