Jesus asked for the stone to be removed from in front of the tomb. Martha, the practical sister, pointed out that after 4 days the body would smell. But Jesus persisted. Then after a brief prayer, he turned toward the tomb and shouted,
“Lazarus, come out!”
Lazarus came blindly stumbling out of the tomb, still wrapped in the grave clothes. So Jesus commanded those there to un-wrap him and set him free.
This is a parable. This raising of Lazarus tells us something about new life now and new life in the future.
Now – when a person hears the Gospel and comes to new life, it is a miracle from the Lord. Yet in this life we start out blindly and dressed in the clothes of death. Lazarus did not look glorious at his new life, but he was in need of help. This is one reason the Lord gives us Christian Fellowship. We are here to listen to the Lord’s command to “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
Are you surprised by the sins of fellow believers? These are the grave clothes. So it is our task to help un-wrap the old dead things from our lives and to all the freedom of new life to take place. We do this by love, patience and prayer.
In the Future – When Jesus came forth from the grave, he was clean and glorious. He left his grave clothes behind in the tomb. And so when he returns to raise the dead, the dead will be raised like him – clean and glorious. At the Shout of God, we will come forth in victory and righteousness to the new life God has prepared for us.