April 11, 2020

Saturday of Holy Week: Becoming Free!

April 11, 2020


John 11:44 – The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”


It was a Saturday, the day before Easter.  As I walked towards the church from my car, a quick flash of light caught my eye.  It was the same flash I’d seen many times during this daily walk to the office of the church I pastored at that time. At that moment, I decided to search for the source of that flash.

It shocked me to find the open end of a shiny crescent wrench sticking above the pavement.  The year before, our church repaved the parking lot. Somehow this wrench got buried in this pavement with part of it sticking out.

I love tools. I wanted to dig out that crescent wrench.  Yet, to do so would leave a hole that would eventually grow into a pot-hole in our relatively new pavement.  

While pondering this, I thought of so many church members buried in all kinds of unhealthy relational, emotional, and spiritual “stuff.” Did I value them as much as that crescent wrench? Helping some of them might bring healing to holes in their lives. 

When Jesus raised Lazarus from the grave, he commanded everyone to “unbind him and let him go.” Jesus’s death, on which the world focused yesterday, is the result of his valuing us such that he was willing to suffer, even die, because he wanted to set us free. Through His death, He unbound us, freeing us to go forward unhindered.

Some of us feel “entombed” in our homes as a result of the coronavirus quarantine. Whether the isolation is lifted by today or not, Jesus wants to help us in our homes. It’s like a person in prison for life, who once told me, “After finding Jesus, I’m freer here in prison than I was when I was not in jail.” I asked him why. He said, “Because I’m focusing on what Jesus wants me to do, not what I want to do.”


  • What parts of your life are “entombed” today? 
  • What parts of your life does Jesus want to set free, unhindered?
  • Why not pray right now for Jesus to free you from this tomb even while continuing to be entombed?
  • What might happen if you allowed Jesus to set you free to be yourself?


  • Discuss what it is like to be buried by worries and fears?
  • Discuss how Jesus might help your family members assist you and your other family members to overcome these worries and fears?
  • Discuss how Jesus might help each of you become free to be the person he created you to be.


Most loving, gracious Lord, it is so easy to become overwhelmed by worries, fears, expectations, and demands of other people. You created us to be ourselves, and yet it is so easy to be entombed by what others want us to be. Lord, help free us to be the people you created us to be. Help us to be free in you, even though we may still be in quarantined isolation at the moment. In your gracious name, I pray. Amen.