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 his grave clothes and let him go.”
~ John 11:44
I am undergoing a life-long process of being unwrapped from my grave clothes. Fully embalmed in layers of sin, Jesus found me and saved me from death. The unraveling process is taking quite some time. I imagine Jesus will continue to painstakingly remove the layers until the person He intended is finally and fully revealed.
The enemy of my soul would have had it that I remain bound, but Jesus is commanding that my grave clothes – all the former things that bound me, all that was attached to my death – be removed.
But I had to die first.
It was necessary to come to a place of death before being called out of the grave. It required coming to the end of myself so that God could snatch me from hell’s death grip. I traded death rags for robes of eternal life. “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
Jesus is leading me away from the dead places, is removing the remnants and stench of death, and has given me eternal life.
But He had to die first.
My life, and yours, came at a cost. Jesus took on all the sin of the world and hung on a cross until death to save me – to save you. He suffered so we wouldn’t have to. He died, a substitute in our place.
But it didn’t end there. After three days, Jesus rose again defeating death. It is because of this that death is defeated in our own life. By declaring Jesus as Lord and Saviour of your life, and choosing to follow Him, when your physical body dies you will live in heaven. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
So don’t be alarmed if you spot linen rags trailing behind me, or one or two detached bits on the ground, it’s merely Jesus’ handiwork, stripping me of the past to give me a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11).
May you allow Jesus’ gentle touch in your life to remove the weight of unnecessary things.