We started a series several weeks ago entitled “The Power of the Cross.” Last week, we looked at Colossians 2 which talks about being “buried with Christ.” This Sunday we are talking about the reality that if you are “In Christ”, you have been raised with Him.
Colossians 2:12 For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with Him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.
When we live in the power of the cross, and through the power of the Holy Spirit we now have a new perspective, new goals, new aims.
….to walk in the newness of life. What does that look like? What exactly happens when we are raised with Christ? I want to go to a resurrection story to learn how we walk in an attitude of being raised with Christ.
Jesus raised three people during His ministry but the raising of Lazarus is probably the most popular story of the three. I want to highlight some of the things that Jesus said/did in this story.
John 11:38 Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”
…..41Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying…. 43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” 44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with grave clothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”
There are three specific statements made by Jesus, three voices or tones which He uses this account to different people which result in the raising of Lazarus. There is a call, there is a cry, and a command.
“ Take away the stone.” Jesus “calls” to those who are standing nearby and says to them roll away the stone. The stone is unbelief. It's not believing that Jesus can make a difference in your life.
Then we have the “cry”...Jesus is crying with a loud voice. He is calling forth the spirit and soul of Lazarus to reconnect with His resurrected body…so Jesus calls to us, to our dry bones to live and experience the breath of the Holy Spirit filling us and making us new.
Then Jesus “commands” others to assist in removing the grave clothes….to remove the grave clothes is essential …. we can believe that Jesus has called us out of our grave and that we've been raised with Him…. but we need to be released from the grave clothes to live in the fullness of the Holy Spirit. What are these grave clothes? These are indicative of our old way of life, the things that bind us, that keep us from being the powerful, liberated, Holy Spirit-filled people of God…these are mindsets, behaviors and attitudes. If you have been raised with Christ, if the stone of unbelief has been rolled away…Jesus has called you out…. He has given you new life through the power of the Holy Spirit. Now it's time to rid yourself of the grave clothes. To loose ourselves so that we can go in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Join us in person on Sunday at 10:00 a.m. or via livestream by going to https://www.firstbaptistsudbury.com and clicking on livestream for “Take off the Grave Clothes.”