This wonderful time of year brings beautiful budding trees, deep green leaves and flowers poking up through the pine straw and mulch. Also, our hearts turn toward the cross remembering the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. I am reminded of the significance for each of us on a very personal level. Because of what Jesus did on the cross, those who believe in Him have their own resurrection and new life.
Lazarus had a resurrection experience. He died, was wrapped in a linen burial shroud soaked in spices to preserve the body, and then was placed in a tomb. His family and friends were grieving. Then, Jesus showed up! Jesus simply called him and on His command, Lazarus, who had been dead for four days, came alive!
‘He (Jesus) cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, Come forth.” The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “unbind him, and let him go.” ’ (John 11:43-44 NAS)
Released from the tomb, he no longer needed the grave clothes. He had new life! Jesus says to them— Lazarus’ family and friends—take off his grave clothes. Lazarus could not do this on his own—he was bound. He needed help! Jesus asked his family and friends to help him.
In his book, See Yourself As God Sees You, Josh McDowell reflects on the resurrection of Lazarus. “This story paints the picture of what the transformation process is like in our lives. When we become Christians, Christ gives us new life. It is as if He calls to us, “Come out! Come out of your old, dead existence. Come out and enjoy the new life I have prepared for you. Come alive!” Christ is the initiator of the new life. It is His power that activates the transformation process.”
“The Lord could have chosen to have Lazarus burst out of his grave clothes in a display of power. But he didn’t. Christ chose to involve the people in Lazarus’s life. He said to Lazarus’s friends and family, “You unwrap him! You be part of the process of releasing him from the grave clothes! You help him in the transformation process!” And Christ does the same with us. He continues the process of transformation by bringing into our lives other believers who love us enough to help us see ourselves as God see us.”(pp.110-111)
At Access Counseling Group, we have the privilege of being a part of that transforming process. We join others as they find new life in a different way. We have seen our clients move from the pain they have been in — to a place of new life — a resurrection from their emotional pain, from unhealthy behavior, and from broken relationships.
Are you being transformed? Resurrected?
Or are you hanging on to your grave clothes?