When he had said this, 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
Spring has sprung in Columbus, Ohio. It’s warm and wet. The air is heavy with the smell of new life. Tree branches are laden with swollen buds just itching to give birth to leaves. The crocuses are in bloom and the tulips are not far behind. The morning air is once again filled with the melodies of song birds. The earth is shedding the shroud of winter.
The change of season has us changing our wardrobes too. Woolen sweaters and heavy coats are being replaced by shorts and t-shirts. Boots are out, flip flops are in and our toes are happy! Even our dog seems to be shedding more than usual in preparation for warmer weather…much to our dismay.
When Jesus called Lazarus back to life, Lazarus walked out of the tomb in the clothes of death, the linen wrappings in which bodies were laid to rest. Though alive, Lazarus was bound by those strips of cloth and needed to be set free. He needed to take off the old and put on the new, new clothes befitting new life.
Easter is not just a time to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus; it is also a time to celebrate and give thanks for our own resurrection. By grace through faith we have been made new creations in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). In Christ we have passed from death to life. The old self enslaved to sin has been crucified and Jesus has called us from the grave to live a new life in him.
This new resurrection life calls for a new wardrobe, not of shirts and shoes but of attitude and action. The old habits of sin and death that bound us need to be removed as Jesus calls us from the grave. Our eyes need to be opened. Our hands need to be set free. Our feet need to be unbound. Like Lazarus we need to take off the old and put on the new, new clothes befitting new life.
What are you wearing in this season of resurrection?
Bringing It Home
1. Spend some time reading Colossians 3:1-17. Consider what you may still need to take off, and what God is calling you to put on. Pray for the Spirit’s guidance and power.
2. Look for shoots of tulips or daffodils today, and when they bloom, let them be a reminder to you of the gift of new life in Christ.
Father, thank you for the gift of new life in Christ. Thank you for the cross and for the power of the empty tomb. Thank you for making me a new creation. Guide me and empower me to dress my life in ways that honor you and show the glory of your new life in me. Continue to put to death in me anything that does not glorify you, until that day when your glory will be fully revealed in me. In Jesus’ name I pray.
Prince of Peace, Burnsville, MN