Lent Blog #25 (Grave Clothes)

March 13, 2010

The Bible is so very many things. It is, first and foremost, The Word of God. But it is also a beautiful love story and a terrific literary work. Seriously, I dare Nicholas Sparks to try and write something better. Can’t be done. The Bible is filled with the most incredible imagery and elaborate metaphors. There are twists and foreshadowing. It truly is the best collaboration of books ever written.

One of my favorite metaphors is the comparison of the literal resurrection of Lazarus to the metaphorical one of me. This was no fluke that Jesus performed this miracle. He knew that people would look to this story and relate to it for years to come. There are so many beautiful parallels.

When Christ calls Lazarus to come out of the grave, the first thing he commands is, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” (John 11:44) That is huge. And directly corresponds to our lives. God calls us out of death. He takes us from the grave and we desire to keep those grave clothes on. He tells us to take off the binding of the grave but we don’t. I think I can safely assume that Lazarus, after he was raised from the dead, did not but back on his old grave clothes from time to time just because they felt right. He took them off and he left them where they belonged. By the grave.

I am called to take off my grave clothes. To leave what I was when I was dead, in the grave. But all to often, I sneak back into those grave clothes. I find excuses to wear them. But my Savior has commanded me other wise. Sin is binding and, in a lot of cases, more comfortable, but it is restricting us from living. A living man does not walk around in grave clothes. It just wouldn’t make sense. They are restricting. They are binding and they will hinder.

Lord, allow me to fully remove my grave clothes and leave them where they belong. As far as the east is from the west, Father. As far as the east is from the west.

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