“But Peter arose and ran to the tomb; and stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying by themselves; and he departed, marveling to himself at what had happened.” Luke 24:12
Oh sweet Heavenly Father, how we thank you for the empty tomb! How we thank you for the resurrection life of Jesus Christ and the new life we have because He lives! Thank you for the Cross and the new life we have because of the death and resurrection of our Savior King Jesus. We marvel at what You have done for us. We pray that participants of Deeper Still would arise and run to Jesus as Peter did. I pray then they would stoop down and see the resurrection power and marvel at what has happened. Amen.
In reviewing the resurrection of Jesus, my attention was drawn to the grave clothes. In Luke 24, it says the grave clothes were lying there by themselves. In the gospel of John, it gives a little more detail and says that the grave clothes were lying there, but the handkerchief that had been around His head was folded off to the side by itself.
I began thinking about these grave clothes lying there and thought of Lazarus. In John Chapter 11, Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead, but when he was raised from the dead, his grave clothes were still tightly wrapped on him. He needed help to be unwrapped, loosed, and set free.
“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.” John 11:44
In contrasting these two resurrections, the grave clothes kept coming to my mind. I don’t think it is an accident in scripture that they are different. Jesus could have removed the grave clothes from Lazarus miraculously. After all, he did raise him from the dead. I think He could certainly untie a bandage. So, why didn’t He? Perhaps it was for this very contrast. Perhaps not, but it is an interesting point to consider.
Death can come in many forms. Every day people who are very much alive choose decisions that lead to a death in their lives. Abortion does lead to an actual death of a person. There is no denying that death is real in abortion. However, there is a spiritual and emotional death in the person who has the abortion as well.
Our Jesus is the giver of life. His death was to pay the penalty for all our sins. He died to give us new life. And He died not only to forgive us of our sins, but also so we could be free of our grave clothes.
Lazarus experienced a death in his life. Jesus gave him life. However, the grave clothes were still on him. Jesus called others to gather around him to help him get free.
Jesus’ grave clothes just fell off of Him! The grave clothes couldn’t stay on Him. The grave clothes couldn’t hold Him. That is the resurrection power of Jesus! It not only brings life, it also removes all signs of death! It removes all the bondages of death and brings freedom.
I believe these two examples mirror what the Deeper Still team does. Deeper Still comes alongside those who are still wearing their grave clothes and helps them get loosed and free!
More importantly, Deeper Still provides an environment for an encounter with the living God. And when those grave clothes are hit with the resurrection power of Jesus Christ, Lord Almighty, the grave clothes just start falling off!! That is what is so exciting to see!
The grave clothes fall to the ground. We see the grave clothes lying there. And like Peter, we marvel at what has happened–the resurrection power of Jesus. Oh Lord, we marvel at Your love and glory.