Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”  The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”  (John 11:43-44 NIV)

Lazarus was dead. Dead. Dead. Like 4 days in the grave… Dead. He was in there so long that “he stinketh”. (John 11:39 KJV) But when Jesus called to him he rose up out of that grave and walked out.


And the people who witnessed it believed that Jesus was the Messiah.

Not long after that, Jesus Himself was brutally beaten and killed. And 3 days later He rose to life again! Proving that He has power over death and the grave.

As we prepare to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior this Easter, I want to remind you that He’s still in the resurrection business. He’s still raising dead souls to life. He’s still taking lost sinners, dead in their sin and raising them to new life in Him.

And when He does… we are to do as He instructed the eyewitnesses to Lazarus’s resurrection… we are to “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”  (John 11:44 NIV)

You see, when Lazarus heard Jesus call him, he answered the call, he got up and walked out of that dark, death-filled tomb. But he was still wearing his grave clothes. “The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.” (John 11:44 NIV) And Jesus instructed the people to help him take those grave clothes off.

When people surrender their lives to Christ, they need help. They’re still wrapped up in the sin of their past. They need our help to shed those old ways and walk in the freedom of their salvation.

Paul tells us in Ephesians 4:22-24 (ESV) that when we surrender our lives to Christ, we are “to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” 

We have new life in Jesus Christ.  Part of living that new life is shedding the old life.  We must die to our old self and shed those grave clothes.  But we can’t do it alone.  We need help.

When you encounter a new Christian, or a struggling old Christian, just remember: we are all a work in progress, being molded and refined day after day as we walk with Jesus.  There’s probably some of those old grave clothes you still need to shed yourself. So, we must lift each other up and help each other shed those old ways and walk in the newness of our faith.

Lazarus was a living testimony that Jesus Christ raises dead things to life. And we can be too. Let’s get out there and show the world what a resurrected life looks like!

Shed those grave clothes!

Teresa Breeding
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