Have you ever wondered if you are doing what you should be? By that, I mean your job, your profession, that kind of thing. Sort of the “what will I be when I grow up” questions.
Personally, I always wanted to be Batman, a cowboy or an astronaut. I’ve found out though that I can’t fit into the Batman costume, cowboying is hard work, and you need at least some level of math to be an astronaut- so I’m out there too.
Did you know there is something we are called to that we can do? No special qualifications or costumes- or even math?
We are called to be alive in Christ.
See, without Christ in our life, without professing Him as our Lord and Saviour, and seeking forgiveness for our sins, we are dead. Truly dead. Sure, we walk around and talk and eat, and maybe do all those things we dream about growing up.
But have you ever watched a movie, and there was a character that you just knew was dead? Just knew he was “gonna get it”? Like the old Star Trek series and the guys in the red shirt. Beam a team to the planet Scotty…. there he is. The anonymous guy in the red shirt. One minute he’s taking a tri-corder reading, the next he’s a cube of powder on the chair.
You knew it was coming.
Yet without Christ, we are just as dead. And worse, beyond that- headed to an eternity separated from God, in Hell.
In fact, we are much like a guy in the Bible named Lazarus.
You see, Lazarus had died. He’d been buried, enclosed in a tomb for several days. No case of “well, I got better” for him. He had been embalmed, wrapped up, placed in a cave and the door rolled in front of it. Dead. He was not only nearly dead, he was really most sincerely dead.
But you know what? Dead is fixable for Jesus Christ. Dead is not permanent for the Messiah. Dead is just a condition that can be changed, because when Jesus calls you, it changes everything.
And for Lazarus, it really changed things.
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 believed, you would 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.”
Talk about a powerful calling. Look at what they told Jesus…. “He’s dead Lord. Already stinking.”
And what was Jesus response, in essence? “Haven’t you heard a thing I said?”
You see, Jesus doesn’t expect us to clean ourselves up before we come to Him. Just like Lazarus- He calls us. He calls us out of the grave of sin that we live. His calling cleans us up, gets rid of the stench. We are no more capable of cleaning ourselves up apart from Christ than Lazarus could un-stink himself.
Because he was dead.
But notice Jesus had more in mind than just calling Lazarus from the grave… look at the last verse. “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” Folks back then were wrapped up in strips of cloth when they died. Literally, grave clothes. Not a nice suit like we see folks wear at the viewing. Think more like a mummy. What Jesus was saying was take those trappings of death and the grave off of him- let him go live.
And if you are called from the grave, don’t you think your life’s focus would be a bit different? What do you think Lazarus’ view of Jesus was after that.
I mean, Lazarus was dead. Jesus brought him back.
Friend, Jesus is calling all of us from the grave. Calling us to relation with Him. And not just a zombie life walking around in grave clothes. He calls us and tells us to put those aside and really live- live in relationship with Him. To His glory.
Whatever you do, do not ignore Christ when he calls to you. Because it is more than a calling to religion. It is about relationship. it is about Him reaching down to you, as if you were already in your Sunday best and laying six feet under, calling you out from there, extending His hand to you. dusting you off, and saying “Go put on some new clothes and live!”
If you already know Jesus as your Saviour, I urge you to continue to seek Him, and to pray that He will guide you in service to Him. Don’t waste the calling fromt he grave you have already received!
And if you don’t know Him as your Saviour, if you are, just like Lazarus, closed up in the grave, in a life apart from Christ, I urge you to consider making Jesus the Lord and Saviour of your life, and getting connected into a local church that can help you grow in service to the Lord. And if you’d like to share this decision with me, or to talk further about what that means, please feel free to email me.
Whatever you do, don’t stay in that grave. There is a whole lot of living to do!