Today’s Scripture: And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go. Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him. John 11:43‑45

“Lazarus, come forth!”

With these three words, Jesus restored life to a man who had been dead for four days.

Equally significant are the words which followed: “Loose him, and let him go.” He instructed that the embalming garments which had enclosed Lazarus’ face and body be removed.

Sometime after Lazarus’ resurrection, he was present at a special meal prepared for Jesus the week before His crucifixion. Imagine the scene at the dinner table with Lazarus still wrapped in his grave clothes. He would have had great difficulty eating, drinking, and socializing with the people at the gathering. Even worse, the many who trusted Christ after seeing Lazarus’ resurrection might not have been won had he refused to exchange his grave clothes for traditional clothes. His appearance was a testament to his new life.

Sometimes we aren’t very excited about shedding the rags of our sinful ways and donning the royal garments of the abundant life God wants us to experience. As Christians, we are identified with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. When He died, so did we; when He was buried, so was our sinful flesh; when He rose again, we rose with Him. This means we need to take our grave clothes off and begin walking in newness of life. What a strange sight it would be for a lost person to see us in the garb of our former lives!

The way we live after we put our trust in Christ really is important. We are daily confronted with people who are considering Christianity. Ours may be the only testimony they will get to see. Let’s take our grave clothes off and display the beautiful robes of righteousness we have through Jesus Christ today.

Devotional by Jim Scudder Jr.