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Summary: Jesus left the grave clothes behind in the tomb on Easter morning. When we Give out lives to Him, He takes through the tomb to the Resurrection, we must leave our "grave clothes" behind as well.

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John 20 Easter 2005

Leaving the Grave Clothes Behind

(Walter Wangerin’s story “The Ragman” was read as a children’s story. It is found in “Ragman and Other Cries of Faith ISBN 0-06-069253-7)

Why does Jesus leave the grave clothes behind? The answer is simple – you don’t need to wear grave clothes when you are alive!

Jesus leaves the grave clothed in the clothes of the living!

Through the Holy Spirit we are united with Christ in his death and his Resurrection

Verse 31

Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

You might remember that when Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, God told them that they would die that very day. And they did die – it was a spiritual death, in that their intimate connection with God was broken – when they sinned, their relationship with God died. Because we are all children of Adam and Eve, we inherit that death.

As Bob Dylan sings,

“I was blinded by the devil,

Born already ruined,

Stone-cold dead

As I stepped out of the womb.”

We live in that spiritual death by doing wrong things ourselves.

Colossians 2:13-15 (NLT)

You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ. He forgave all our sins. He canceled the record that contained the charges against us. He took it and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ’s cross.

When we believe in Jesus Christ and receive the Holy Spirit, the Spirit unites us with Jesus in his death and resurrection, and we walk out of the tomb with Jesus to new life!

Because he lives, we live too!

Jesus leaves the grave clothes behind and we must also.

Just as Jesus leaves the grave in the clothes of the living, we must also take off the grave clothes and put on the clothes of the living

Leaving behind sin

Ephesians 4:22-24

22You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

He goes on from there to describe what it means to put off your old self, and to put on your new self. 4:25-5:10

We need to take these things and leave them in the tomb. When you think of the grave clothes – they are disgusting, - you don’t want to wear something that someone died in! In the same way, once Jesus has taken the grave clothes from us, why would we ever want to go back to them? They are things of death, and we want the things of life!

There are times when we start to believe that the things that lead to death actually lead to life, by that is a lie that the devil wants us to believe to get us back into the tomb.

Jesus says

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”- John 10:10

Take off the grave clothes and leave them in the tomb.


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