Imagine waking up from the dead, only to find that you can’t move—you’re awake but bound tightly by strips of cloth. Think what this experience must have been like for Lazarus. He heard Jesus’ words calling to him, “Lazarus, come out!” (John 11:43) and had no choice but to obey. He struggled to his feet and shuffled to the entrance to his tomb and out into the sunlight. Standing in the midst of stunned and wondering neighbors, he found himself unable to see or move his hands. Straining to hear sounds he couldn’t fathom, he realized the incredible fact of his resurrection. He was back on earth, imprisoned in his graveclothes. Eager hands unwrapped the stifling cloth from his face, his body, his arms, his legs. Lazarus was set free to start life anew. Many of the witnesses believed in Jesus at that point (John 11:45), and God was glorified.
When Jesus rose again, he left his graveclothes behind too (John 20:3-7). Graveclothes don’t belong on the living. Graveclothes belong on those in the grave.
Are you wearing graveclothes? What did you bring into your Christian life that should have been left behind? What binds your mouth, your hands, your feet, and keeps you from glorifying God? Listen to Life himself. He is saying that you need to have your graveclothes unwrapped and thrown away. This will be a testimony of what Christ has done for you in giving you new life. Throw away your graveclothes; they are poor dress for a living person!
For Further Study: John 11:17-44
Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Women, Copyright ©2000 by Jill Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.
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