Okay, first let me say that I am so sorry for leaving you hanging after Day 7…that did not go as planned! Stay with me though. I think God has a few more things to teach us from this story :)
Where we left off: Lazarus was dead for four days. Jesus told the mourners to move the grave stone. Martha reminded him of the smell, and Jesus reminded her of what she would miss (the glory of God) if she didn’t obey. Jesus, praying aloud, thanked God that He heard Him and always has.
“Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come forth!’
And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth.” (John 11:43-44a)
Jesus commanded Lazarus to raise from the dead, and he did. But he didn’t come out looking like a man. He looked like a mummy.
I remember as a tween, one of my favorite shows was What Not to Wear. Fashion gurus, Stacy and Clinton, make a terribly unfashionable person, well, fashionable. Clothes, shoes, hair, makeup, the works. They go through the “victim’s” wardrobe and throw out disastrous clothing and then teach him or her how to dress according to age and body shape. Friends and family are invited to see the “unveiling,” where Stacy and Clinton present the now fashionable guy or gal at the end of the week-long makeover.
My brothers would always groan or roll their eyes at the sight of yet another episode of, what was for me, makeover heaven. By the end of each show, my heart was happy that one more person would walk the world in style. (I was so focused on the right things ;)
We love transformation that improves, especially if it’s dramatic. There is something magical to transformation.
Jesus has the ability to take us from death to life, from mummy to man (or woman, in my case). And every day after that, we still have an opportunity for radical transformation. He can strip us of our ugly and clothe us with His character. If he doesn’t, we still look dead. And, our hands are still bound.
Will we allow Jesus to loose us of the death clothes? Lazarus was “bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth” (v. 44). I can only imagine the suffocating and restrictive (and stinky) feeling. Who wouldn’t want to escape those clothes?
Will we trust that He knows the proper fashion for our frame? Because He knit us together in the womb (Psalm 139:13), how much more can He provide us with attire for each day?
I’m not talking skinny jeans or dress shirts or the perfect heels.
“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering, bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection…” (Colossians 3:12-14)
The difference between our makeover and those featured on TV is the timeline. It’s easy to get frustrated because we can’t see dramatic results right away, but rely on the promise in His Word…”Being confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).
Makeovers are full of magic. Somehow I’ve known that since my “tweenage” years.
“Jesus said to them, ‘Loose him, and let him go.'” (John 11:44b)