Why You Need to Leave Your Grave Clothes Behind

After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, “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.” (John 11:44)

Imagine how ludicrous it would have been for Lazarus to have taken a few steps and then said, “You know, I think I prefer being wrapped in linen. Put my grave clothes back on me and place that cloth back around my face.”

As ridiculous as that may sound, there are plenty of people today who do something similar. And the folks who just can’t seem to leave their grave clothes alone fall into one of two groups.

The first group involves those who start out wanting to be clothed with Christ, but then quickly go back to wearing their dirty old rags of works righteousness. They relapse into their grave clothes by attempting to earn salvation through their works, even though the prophet Isaiah made it abundantly clear that our good works can never take away our sins: “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteousness is like filthy rags.” (Isaiah 64:6) Nevertheless, the grave clothes of works righteousness definitely appeal to some people who initially appeared to be on the road to redemption.

We see a prime example of this in the book of Galatians. Paul addressed the “foolish Galatians” (3:1) who “after beginning with the Spirit” began “trying to attain their goal by human effort.” (3:3)

It is utter foolishness to revert back to your grave clothes once you have experienced new life in Christ. You will never be grounded in the Christian faith if you are determined to keep going back to those death rags. To put it simply, you will need to leave your grave clothes alone if you want to be forgiven of your sins. So go ahead and place complete confidence for salvation in the cross where Christ made the full payment for your sin. After all, your grave clothes cannot take away even one of your sins.

The second group of people who can’t seem to leave their grave clothes alone are those believers who continue to deliberately dabble with sin even though they have been clothed with Christ through faith in the Savior. Christians are not to “put on” the old clothes of disobedience, but are “to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions.” (Titus 2:12)

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Dan Delzell