44.Bound hand and foot with bandages. The Evangelist is careful to mention thenapkin and bandages, in order to inform us that Lazarus went out of the tomb, in the same manner that he was laid in it. This mode of burying is retained to the present day by the Jews, who cover the body with a shroud, and wrap the head separately in a handkerchief.
Loose him, and let him go. To magnify the glory of the miracle, it only remained that the Jews should even touch with their hands that Divine work which they had beheld with their eyes. For Christ might have removed the bandages with which Lazarus was bound, or made them to give way of themselves; but Christ intended to employ the hands of the spectators as his witnesses.
The Papists act an excessively ridiculous part, by endeavoring to draw auricular confession from this passage. They say, “ after having restored Lazarus to life, commanded his disciplesto loose him; and therefore it is not enough for us to be reconciled to God, unless the Church also pardon our sins.” But whence do they conjecture that the disciples were enjoined to loose Lazarus? On the contrary, we may infer that the order was given to the Jews, in order to take from them every ground of doubt or hesitation.