There is an account in the bible about Jesus raising his friend Lazarus from the dead. He’d been dead four days and was wrapped up in a tomb when Jesus came along and spoke to Lazarus’ sisters and asked them to roll away the stone from the tomb’s entrance.
Then Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus come forth! And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him and let him go.” (John 11:43-44)
Jesus knew that he had power over death. His declaration about himself was, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me, shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25)
Jesus says the same to us still today. “Do you believe me, and if you do, Come forth!” We may not be physically dead but we can be dead on the inside. Dead in our failures, disappointments, mess-up’s and sin. We are stuck in the tombs of our own making, wrapped up in our graveclothes and wondering how to get out. But that’s where Jesus has some good news for us. He said, “I have come that you may have abundant life. Come follow me and learn how to live”. (John 10:10) Then He offers to give us new life, we become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17); we leave our past behind and go from death to life.
The key once we choose life over death is to come forth, to come up and out of our old life into the new. To be just like Lazarus and come forth out of the tomb, and to take our old graveclothes off; to cast aside our failings, sin, sickness, and poverty, and to everyday put on the garments of our salvation.
Because otherwise we can still be walking around in our graveclothes, smelling like “death”, when we have been given new life and new garments of salvation and righteousness. Those new garments bring provision instead of lack, deliverance from all evil, forgiveness, healing, acceptance, right standing before God, freedom and blessing. So why on earth would we want to be walking around in death’s clothes?
Isaiah 61:10-11 says, “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, My soul shall be joyful I My God. For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. As the garden causes the things that are sown to spring forth, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.
Jesus is calling us forth. To spring forth instead of hanging around the tomb. He is calling us to come up and out, and to spring into action; to reveal God’s goodness, His power and his righteousness before the nations.
Ask yourself what are you wearing today? Is it garments of salvation and righteousness or is it smelly old graveclothes? Then make a decision to leave the tomb and graveclothes behind, (actually choose to burn those stinking things), and come forth into all that Jesus is calling you to be and do today.
Prayer: Lord I’m casting aside my old graveclothes and leaving my “tomb” behind. Remind me everyday to make sure I am clothed in the right garments that signify who you say I am, rather than what my past tries to dictate I am. I put on my garments of salvation and my robe of righteousness today