In John 11 Jesus learns that His dear friend, Lazarus is ill. Instead of going to his side, Jesus continues doing ministry with his disciples. Finally the word comes that Lazarus has died. Jesus tells His disciples it’s time to go visit Lazarus and his sisters, Mary and Martha. What happens next is one of the biggest miracles Jesus performs, short of His own resurrection.
When Lazarus steps out of the tomb where his body has lain for four days all around him are amazed at the Power of God. It is not the end though. Jesus commands those around Lazarus to help him get out of his grave clothes.
Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. “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.”
Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”
So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 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.”
When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 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 11:38-44).
Jesus tells the other people to help Lazarus out his “death” clothes and into his “life” clothes.
We are called to follow this example. We are to help others as they step out of the darkness and into the Light of the World’s presence. It isn’t just with new believers though, we need to walk with those who are in the dark in other areas too.
This Christmas season many will suffer depression, sadness, or a feeling of loss. There are those who are without family or friends to support them and encourage them. It may be time for you to be the hands and feet of Christ for the hurting this Christmas.
Many hosted a “friendsgiving” this past weekend. How about hosting a “Friend-mas” as well?
Help unwrap those who are so wound in their sadness that they have forgotten the joy that is just outside. Give them a smile, a cup of coffee, the gift of a hug, of time to listen to their stories.
Be an encourager. Pour courage into them to remind them there is joy, there is hope, their is a better day ahead.