(it’s gettin’ hot in here…so ________)

It’s always pretty cool when you hear a new message coming from a story you’ve heard a thousand billion times. These thoughts are stolen from Pastor G’s message yesterday. I liked ’em.

In biblical Judaism, there were laws and customs on every area of life. How to make sacrifices. How to build altars. How to keep “clean” in pretty much any given realm of their daily living. But there was an area that hadn’t been covered. Well, many areas probably, all surrounding a response to exactly what God was accomplishing through Jesus Christ.

But specifically here in John chapter 11, “How should a faithful Jew respond when someone once dead has become living again?”

Everyone knew to touch a dead person was unclean. To touch a sick person was unclean. So what of this man Lazarus, who was coming out from the grave as alive again? (it seems a different type of “resurrection” than Christ, but that’s another blog) Should they go near him?

Jesus gives clear instructions to those around them, and they seem to be followed:

“Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

As Christians, we often find it hard to know how to respond when someone we know has been living apart from Christ for a long time all of a sudden begins walking around “as someone made alive.” When we see there are still things that are binding them as they walk toward Christ. It’s easy to simply point, it’s easy to condemn, easy to tell them to take their bindings off.

But Jesus response calls us to respond by assisting/serving. Also interesting to note the different goals in approaching the dead/living. Someone who is still dead, you don’t approach attempting to help remove the grave clothes. We first seek new LIFE, and THEN once they’re living, we’re called to come alongside and help in taking off the grave clothes that bind.

When we begin to consciously approach others who have come to new life in Christ, seeking what grave clothes we can help to remove (Method-ism); it leads us to a life where we are continuously asking ourselves as well. “What grave clothes are still bound on me?”, and to seek people/Godly happenings that will help us remove these clothes, so that we may be clothed anew in Christ….

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