2016-02-14 - Grave Clothes
John 11:43-44 When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”
This is a powerful moment in the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ. The Lord asks the Father to validate to the crowd that He is the Messiah. The moment displays the power of God over death and His willingness to intervene in the events of our lives in ways that exceed our ability to comprehend. The moment when water became excellent wine, the children of Jarius and the Centurion raised from death, the blind see, the deaf hear, the lame walk, the dumb speak and the lepers are cured - with a touch, or a command, sometimes at a distance.
There is an important picture being painted here for us, easy to miss. Jesus prays and calls Lazarus to come out of the tomb. Martha had warned Jesus that her brother had been dead for four days and his body would smell since it would be decaying. Lazarus indeed walks through the opened doorway to the tomb. He is still wrapped in the cloth, or grave clothes, his body had been wrapped in for burial.
See the cloth as our old sin-stained life and Lazarus' resurrection as our the moment of our salvation. Our old life no longer has any power over us. We are free from the tomb. But it still encumbers us. It refuses to simply fall away and leave us. Does Jesus walk over and unwrap Lazarus? No! Jesus commands those around Lazarus to unwrap him. Through our encouragement and helping of new believers we help to remove the grave clothes from them as other believers helped us. The Holy Spirit is also there to guide us in our new life making those people a picture of the Holy Spirit as well.
We have a calling in this - encouraging each other and following the leading of the Spirit as we walk this walk. Over time piece of the old life will be removed and fall away as we walk closer with Jesus.
Patience and love go a very long way. Think about that - Selah!
Lord Jesus - thank you for the amazing gift of salvation. We are raised to new life as we answer Your call to come just as we are. Help us to be patient with others and ourselves as we listen and learn how to walk closer to You. Amen
Grace & Peace,
All verses are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) unless otherwise noted.