There was an amazing, almighty yet humorous event that occurred in John 11:38-44. Lazarus, a dear friend of Jesus, had died and been in the tomb for four days. Christ approached the tomb and instructed family and friends to remove the huge stone that blocked the access. Martha, Lazarus’ sister who always was the responsible one, said, “’But, Lord, by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days’…Then Jesus said, ‘Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?’ So, they took away the stone…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.”
Didn’t I tell you that the above was an amazing story?! Jesus knew that He was getting ready to perform a miracle that would glorify God. He first identified an impediment that would keep Him from performing the miracle. There was a large stone that blocked the entrance to the tomb. No way the miracle would happen without the obstacle being removed. If we are God’s child, Jesus desires to do amazing things in our lives. Yet, he cannot because a large stone is in the way. If you are not sensing amazing things happening in your life, what is the large stone that is blocking God? Remove the stone!
Then, “Jesus called in a loud voice, ‘Lazarus come out!’” Then, “the dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.” He was now ALIVE but looked dead with “his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.” To boot, the wrapping had a gross odor of death. Then, “Jesus said to them, ‘Take off the grave clothes and let him go.’” Lazarus was a resurrected man but could barely move. He still had on grave clothes and smelled awful. Get rid of them and “let him go.” Please remember, every believer spiritually died with Christ on the cross, He took us to the grave with Him, and then, brought us out of the grave resurrected with Him. Each one of us have had the Lazarus experience! H-O-W-E-V-E-R, many of us still have grave clothes on with a putrid odor!
Today, I am asking God to prompt you to remove the stone and “take off the grave clothes”, then you will experience the abundant life that God greatly desires for you. Paul is clear about this in every epistle that he wrote. For example, in Ephesians 4:22-24, he commands us, “to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires (grave clothes); 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.” Paul commands us to do exactly what Jesus commanded Lazarus, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”