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Tightly Wrapped

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Tightly Wrapped - February 28, 2006

"... and let him go." John 11:44

There's been a food fad around for awhile now called 'wraps'. Veggie wraps, ham and cheese wrap, chicken Caesar wrap; you name it. 'Tightly wrapped' is a phrase sometimes used for people who are high strung; those who might need to lighten up or "get a life". Lazarus was a guy who was tightly wrapped. Not in a nervous angst but literally "wrapped". The bible tells the story (John 11).

Lazarus was one of Jesus' best friends; someone He could hang out with, relax, have dinner with, talk things over with. Apparently Jesus often spend the night with Lazarus and his sisters whenever He went to Jerusalem.

Anyway, Lazarus died. When Jesus arrived at Bethany, not far from Jerusalem, He went to the tomb with Mary, Martha, and the others. He was moved to tears, and after praying to His Father, He called in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!"

The dead man came out, with all the burial cloths on, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Then the bible says, '"Jesus said to them, 'Take off the grave clothes and let him go'."

Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead and gave him life. Yet He told the people to rip off and unravel those grave clothes, so that Lazarus could freely move on.

Jesus is still in the business of saving lives, calling us to leave a life that leads to spiritual death, and urging us to embrace a spiritual resurrection and new life by believing in Him. Then, sometimes, He says to us: "Loose him/her, and let him go".

This is where forgiveness can come in. We can keep others tied up with unforgiveness. They can have new life in Christ, be 'born-again', and yet be bound up unless we forgive and turn them loose.

The gospels all speak about forgiving others as we have been forgiven. It is a mandate that we make the decision to choose to forgive, whether we feel like it or not. Surely we don't want to be 'tightly wrapped'; it is our privilege, and responsibility, to allow our brothers and sisters the same freedom.

Contributed by Sally I. Kennedy
 

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