One of the greatest miracles that Jesus performed was raising Lazarus from the dead.
Can you imagine the scene?!?
I have actually stood at the foot of a bed of a deceased loved one and asked God to raise him back. It did not happen. Only God gave me the faith to even ask. But what would I have done had God performed that miracle?
I act like I am ready to behold a New Testament miracle.
But I may not be as brave as I confess to be.
The bible does not give us many details on the reactions of the people who witnessed this miracle in real life.
I am betting that some folks were rendered speechless. Some may have even fainted. I bet screams of fear and unbelief and outright astonishment filled the hushed air.
A man that had been dead for 4 days walked out of a tomb.
All Jesus is quoted as saying after this incredible miracle is this, "Take off the grave clothes and let him go." (John 11:44)
I love this miracle.
Even death bows to the feet of Jesus.
Each and every time a person comes to faith in Christ Jesus death is beaten. It bows down once again.
Redeemed people are made alive in Christ.
Jesus made a way for me to spend eternity with him in heaven. At the age of 9 years old I accepted by faith His free gift of salvation and repented of my sins. I asked Jesus to be my Lord and my God.
My grave clothes were taken off and from that day forth I have been clothed with the righteousness of Jesus.
In the same way~ Jesus called me out of my tomb. No longer would I be bound in the garments of despair and discouragement.
Wouldn't it have been ridiculous for Lazarus to have stayed in the clothes that represented his death?
Jesus immediately handled that. He asked that his grave clothes be taken off.
I bet the clothes were discarded.
Do you think Lazarus really wanted to wear them again?
I doubt it.
So why do we?
There are days I cloak the righteousness of God under garments of despair and discouragement.
But it is the truth.
I nurture the pity that I so desperately feel and I want to enjoy it for a while.
I look around at many believers I know and our lives are somewhat powerless. We don't live as those who have been called from death to life.
We have pulled out the grave clothes again.
We don't live and pray like God can cast down mountains.
We don't live and pray like God heals the sick.
We don't live and pray like demons tremble at the name of Jesus.
We don't live and pray like He is our fortress and very present help.
We don't live and pray that He is our provider.
We don't live and pray like He alone has the last word.
We run scared.
We run back to hopelessness and despair...even though we have been called out of it.
We learn little else about Lazarus post raised from the dead. But....
I bet he lived each day to the fullest.
I bet he believed God with full faith.
I bet he had a new take on life.
I write about this because not too long ago I lived a dreadful day. To try to describe the mental assault of hopelessness would be an understatement. It was awful.
All I could think were hopeless thoughts. The tears wouldn't stop.
Y'all~ I love Jesus and this was my reality on that day.
I had traded life for death.
It seemed easier to do.
The grave clothes matched my mood.
Thankfully Jesus (and prayers from my awesome man) pulled me from this funk.
Let's learn a lesson from Lazarus.
We have been called out of darkness and death and into His glorious Light.
We have every right to believe God just as those New Testament believers did.
Grave clothes belong on the dead.
We have eternal LIFE!
Let's live like it.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." John 3:16-17