When I was in Creteil, France I decided to talk about zombies in a sermon. I don’t remember the spiritual application, all I remember is zombies. So, in order to be really cool I searched for a funny clip on You Tube about zombies.
Zombies aren’t very funny, did you know that? I found out. They are macabre, scary and weird. I decided that if I showed one of those film clips some of the ladies might me into a zombie.
You know what, though? I found something in the Bible that’s kind of zombie-like.
Do you remember when Jesus raised Lazyrus from the dead and the former cadaver shuffled out of the tomb? Graveclothes still bound him.
If I had been there I would have been torn between praising the Lord Jesus and streaking away faster than a jackrabbit on steroids.
Lazyrus wasn’t a zombie, though. He was very much alive again. He just needed to get rid of those grave clothes. Once he got back into his blue jeans and tee-shirt, he was just a normal guy who had been dead.
I know Christians who are like that. Jesus found them in their sins and gave them new life. But, in some areas they are still hobbled by graveclothes, by the life they used to live.
You can recognize them because of their slashing tongue, or their tendency to fall back into their favorite sin, or their pride, or their persistant unbelief or their rotten attitude.
“Then he (Jesus) shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” And he came out, a cadaver, wrapped from head to toe, and with a kerchief over his face. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him loose.” (John 11:44, The Message)
Some of us squirmed a little when I talked about those grave clothes. It’s because you’re still wearing part of them and you know they are out of style for this new life.
You’re shambling along like a zombie instead of walking in newness of life.
So, how do you get rid of them? You really want to know?
Get serious. Quit making excuses, “This old thing? I’ve had it like, forever, darling. I just wouldn’t be me if I parted with it.” ZOMBIE warning! If you hear yourself saying something like that you may be wearing stinky funeral clothes. God’s got better than that for you. Sure it’s hard to part with the things that bound us, but you’ll never be free until you do.
Get help. Notice, Lazyrus didn’t take off those graveclothes by himself. Those around assisted him. You need brothers and sisters to help you be all that God wants you to be. Sometimes, we think it’s enough to go to church on Sunday. To lots of people, it’s like going to the movies or a ballgame, only more boring.
God doesn’t want us simply to “go to church.” He wants us to be an integral part of the church, His Body. We are our brother’s keeper and our brother is our keeper. I can’t be all that God recreated me to be in Christ without you and you can’t be all you’re meant to be in Jesus without being with others who love the Lord.
“But, they’re not perfect!” Here, I’ll loan you my mirror if you’re bothered by their imperfections. That way you can gaze into the eyes of a perfect person… or not.
Get busy. Hang around Jesus, more and more. A few days after his resurrection we find old Lazyrus hanging with Jesus, eating. This is going to sound like your ABC’s but if you want to rip off those nasty graveyard duds, get busy reading God’s Word every day. Pray every day. Be in Church regularly with others who love the Lord.
“I know, I know.” Well, as mama used to say, “If you know, you better get busy doing it.” Does that sound harsh? (Actually mama occasionally sounded harsh). Consistent fellowship with the Lord through His Word and His people is part of the bread and butter of the new life.
If you find yourself looking like a zombie and smelling like a zombie, you need to get rid of those grave clothes and put on that new life that Jesus gives you.
A little question … where do you need to put this Coffee Stain into practice in your life? Another little question … when are you starting?
“The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.” Albert Einstein
“A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams.” John Barrymore