Have you ever been embarrassed by a family member who may have commented as you were getting ready to leave out the door: “Are you wearing that? You should take off those clothes! Put something else on!” Of course, this is definitely a bold choice of words. However, have you ever stopped to consider God telling you that?
No, God doesn’t bash us. However, he does make suggestions that will benefit our good. He has miraculously saved us from the pit of hell, a life of sin and bondage, and all kinds of unimaginable things, but he sees that we still choose to wear the “grave clothes”. This is the point where we can imagine him screaming out: “Take off those clothes!”. It’s as if we still want to have a little bit of the old nature on us.
Dissection of the Clothes
What happens when we wear grave clothes? People can’t tell that we are Christians because we look, act, and talk like everyone else. We trade in the sweet fragrance of Christ, for the death smell of the grave that God has resurrected us from.
Why do we choose to do this? We won’t change our thinking so that our behavior can change as well. We are more comfortable with the stench of the grave clothes than walking in the newness of Christ.
So, how do we know that God’s desire is for us to shake loose from this putrid outfit? When Jesus resurrected Lazarus from the dead, Lazarus was bound in grave clothes. His first command was for them to take off those clothes:
38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said.
“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”
40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”
41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”
43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 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.”
And that is his command for me and you. He dares us to trust him with our new life!