When Lazarus stumbled out of the tomb looking like a mummy, Jesus said to those standing around, “Loose him and let him go.” So they unwrapped the long linen wraps, and set him free.
Jesus, too, had been wrapped in long linen wraps, just like Lazarus had been. That was the custom in those days for those that were buried in tombs, rather than graves. But when Jesus was raised from the dead, nobody had to take the wrappings off, as they had done with Lazarus. John tells us that when he and Peter entered the tomb on that resurrection morning, they saw the linen clothes lying there in a collapsed condition. The body was simply gone.
Peter, in his sermon on the day of Pentecost, alludes to this when in Acts 2:24 he says, “Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death…” Peter wants us to know that in the resurrection, Jesus was “loosed.” As Jesus lay in the tomb, death held Him captive. As the linen was wrapped tight about the body of Jesus, so death wrapped itself around Him and held Him in bondage. But Peter says God loosed Him.
The word “loosed” is a Greek verb that basically means “to loosen,” but it is translated in a number of ways. It can mean “to untie, to set free, to release.” That’s exactly what God did in the resurrection of Jesus. He set Him free. He released Him. The linen wraps no longer bound His body, as death no longer held Him in its grip.
And that’s what God also does for us, when we place our faith in Christ for our salvation. First, He gives us eternal life, which means that death can no longer hold us in bondage. We are set free from the pains of death. Second, He causes us to live victoriously. We are loosed from the power of sin. Things that used to bind us up, no longer do. Praise God for our freedom in Christ! Through Jesus, we are loosed from the pains of death!
Now you know the real meaning of the word.
Hey—Are you in bondage to an old habit? Well, read Romans 8, and realize that God wants to set you free in Christ.