May 20

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‘Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in graveclothes, his face wrapped in a headcloth. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!” (John 11:43-44 NLT).

From: May 20, 2018

PUT OFF THE OLD GRAVECLOTHES!
When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, He instructed his family and friends to help him out of his graveclothes. Surely the clothes must have smelled of death just as Martha had warned, for Lazarus had been dead four days. Yet, the man Lazarus was raised to life by the call of Jesus. A new man needs new clothes.
 
The apostle Paul wrote, “Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.” (Eph. 4:21-22, 24).
 
When we are born again, we must put off the old graveclothes of our former lives and put on the new clothes of the new nature. This is an action taken in the power of the Holy Spirit. Yet, just as Lazarus needed help to get out of his graveclothes, so we need the community of believers to help us with ours. After all, isn’t it our family and friends that let us know when we stink?
 
So, get out of those stinky graveclothes and clothe yourselves in Christ’s clothes of righteousness.

“Immediately Saul fell full length on the ground, and was dreadfully afraid because of the words of Samuel. And there was no strength in him, for he had eaten no food all day or all night” (1 Samuel 28:20 NKJV).

From: May 20, 2017

King Saul, the first king of Israel, who had begun so well, finished in fear and dread, ultimately committing suicide. The young, tall and awkwardly humble Saul (remember him hiding among the baggage), had grown to be the old, prideful and painfully paranoid king. Yet here, when he saw and heard from the shade of Samuel, we see the humbled and broken man as he was.
 
When Samuel asked why Saul had “disturbed” him, Saul stooped with his face to the ground and replied, “God has departed from me and does not answer me anymore.”
 
How tragic it is to see the decline of one who was blessed of God, but took his eyes off of the Lord that blesses, to put them on the blessings themselves. It is a heartbreaking reminder to keep our eyes on the Lord, especially as we grow older. It is good to begin well, but even better to finish well for the Lord!

“Lazarus, come forth!” (John 11:43 NKJV)

From: May 20, 2015

The One who had said, “Let there be light,” now entered into His fallen creation, speaking resurrection life to those dead in their sins. He called to “Lazarus” specifically because otherwise every dead body on planet earth would have burst forth from the grave at His command, “Come forth!” This One speaking was none other than the Word of God made flesh. The same Word that was in the beginning with God and was God. The same Word that brought all things into being, now commanded Lazarus to rise. Some day, the Word will return with the sound of a trumpet, saying, “Arise, My love!” And the dead in Christ shall rise and those living will be changed. Do you believe this?

“Jesus wept” (John 11:35)

From: May 20, 2014

The shortest verse in the Bible is one of the most revealing. Did Jesus cry because Lazarus was dead? No. He knew he was about to raise him from the grave. I think he cried because Mary cried. He was sympathetic to her loss and grief. But mainly, I think he cried because he hated death. As the Life, death was anathema to his very being. He was so angry about the death that man’s sin had wrought that a sound like a snorting horse escaped his lips and tears fell down his cheeks. As he angrily approached Lazarus’ tomb, he commanded them to “roll the stone away!” Life said to Death, “Come forth!” And Lazarus was raised up and walked out of the tomb. Oh the depth of Christ’s passion for us! Oh the great love he has that he would take our death, so that we could receive his eternal Life.

From: May 20, 2013

013 – May 20th through September 17, 2013 – Justin Norden managed our OYB site during my summer sabbatical.