The grinding of the stone rubbing against the tomb as it is rolled away shatters the silence. Bright sunlight floods into the small cave. Lazarus takes in a deep breath as his lungs once again fill with air. His eyes open and struggle to see. The facial cloth from his burial still covers his face so all he can see is the sunlight streaming from the outside world.
Suddenly he hears his name. The voice seems familiar. Is it really him calling? The voice calls again louder this time. Lazarus now knows it is Jesus. He struggles to stand. His arms and legs are still bound by his grave clothes. Somehow he is able to follow the light and shuffle his way forward.
Here stands Lazarus, a man that had been dead for four days. His sisters Mary and Martha had no hope that he would live again but Jesus had another plan. Jesus was not finished. So here Lazarus stands fully alive and well, a life even better than it was before.
Lazarus was alive; however, he was still dressed like a dead man!
Jesus had given him new life, but he gave the command to those that stood watching to loose him from clothes of death. His friends and family had to unwrap him. They were probably the same ones who had dressed him for burial thinking this was the end not seeing the possibility of life. They had to accept him back as a man who was lost but now was found. A man who was dead but now lives. Jesus gave him a new life, but it was their love and their actions that would complete his release from death.
In John 11:1-44 we read this event where Jesus brings back to life his friend Lazarus who had been dead for four days.
This is a wonderful illustration of the church.
- We must see them as being made new. – We remove the old vision of them from our sight and see the newness of them in Christ.
- We remove the cloth from their face
- The cloth over the face obscures their own vision. We have to help them see themselves in the new light of life in Christ. They may need help putting aside their past and seeing themselves as God sees them.
- We unbind their feet and hands – We welcome them in to the church and help them discover their own calling.
Your voice is important; I would love to hear from you.
How can the church help those that have newly found life in Jesus?