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The Grave Clothes Still Stink

If you are anything like me, you have resurrection on your mind. 

 

Looking ahead to Easter, I was reading John 11 about the resurrection of Jesus' friend, Lazarus. He was in the tomb four days when Jesus showed up, wept over him, and raised him from the dead. Certainly it was the power of God at work bringing this man back to life. But it was verse 44 that gave me pause this week:

 

The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

 




Lazarus walks out of the grave, confined in his burial cloths, stinking to high heaven. He is alive, yes, but he looks like a dead man walking. And instead of unwrapping the grave clothes from Lazarus himself, Jesus invites the family and friends who have gathered around to participate in setting Lazarus free.

 

Community matters. Lazarus needed his community to fully experience his new life. The community of believers is just as critical in setting people free from addiction. A man enters our recovery program, encounters Jesus and claims a new identity in Christ. But he still resembles a dead man walking, "stinking" of sin and death. While Jesus does the miraculous work of drawing this man to himself, Jesus entrusts us - His people - to remove the grave clothes and help this man walk in true freedom. 

 

This month that looked like one of our graduates helping a female resident find furniture for her new family stability apartment. It looked like a mentor working with a resident on his tendency to blow up at the smallest slight. It looked like Andrew and Tim and Marty and Barb each leading a different Bible study so our people can soak in the word of God and have their minds renewed. It looked like you praying for and supporting our work.

 

As we celebrate Resurrection Sunday this weekend, we are so grateful our Savior overcame death and the grave. And we are so thankful for you and your role in removing the grave clothes that help people walk in freedom.

 

Happy Easter!

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