Easter is one of the most celebrated Holidays in the Christian world. It is the very crux of the Christian faith. Christ, who was sinless, came to earth and showed us the right example of how to live. He died and rose again. He also took our place and sacrificed His life for us. In doing so, he had authority over death and the grave. God is truly bigger than the grave.
We celebrate Easter every year, but do we really realize what is available to us all because of what Christ did on the cross and rose again for you and I?
In the book of Acts, the disciples preached about Christ and focused on His resurrection. The resurrection makes the difference from any other religion. Death, the grave was conquered once and for all. This was done for you and I.
Christ wants us to live a victorious life. Once we ask Jesus in our hearts as Lord and Savior, we are born again. In other words, we are new.
2 Cor. 5:17 NKJV
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
What Jesus did for you and I can never be taken away from us. Even if people don’t believe, we know it is true. When Jesus died, He went to Hell and took the keys. He is bigger than the grave!
It was an amazing thing what Jesus did for us. He also carries the keys of the grave with him.
Rev. 1:18 KJV
I am He that liveth, and was dead, and behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
We have nothing to dread if we put our trust in Christ.
To hold the keys means He holds the power over the dark world; Hell. Our Savior has this authority as He had been raised from the dead by His own power. This shows that Christ has dominion over hell and death. He can raise the dead and destroy the living. Power over life, death, and the grave!
We see that when He raised Lazarus from the dead.
Read John 11:40 – 44
Lazarus hands and feet were bound. He was alive but could not go anywhere or do anything. Lazarus’ head was also bound. He couldn’t hear, see, or speak.
Many Believers are bound up. They are spiritually alive, but bound up where they can’t go anywhere or do anything for the Lord. They are bound up so they can’t hear the voice of Jesus, see spiritual things, or speak or share the Word of God.
What grave clothes do you still have on? What is keeping you bound up? Many of us are walking around in our own grave clothes thinking we are okay, but in reality we are the walking dead.
Grave clothes are not what you are wearing physically, but a state of being, or a state of mind. Grave clothes represent things you use to do when you were spiritually dead. Grave clothes represent addictions and worldly things we hold on to. Grave clothes represent things in your past you keep holding on to.
Some Grave Clothes you may be wearing
1. Bad memories
You may be living and reliving bad memories from you past and they torment you. It is time to shed those dirty grave clothes once and for all. This is being obsessed with the grave. You are looking to what was and missing it and wanting it back. We can never live in the past. The past is done and gone away. Living and reliving memories of the past is like constantly looking in the review mirror of your life. You will get in a accident if you don’t start keep your eyes forward to the present.
Philippians 3:13 – 14 Amplified Bible
I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.
Galatians 5:19 – 21 NKJV
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
If we settle for less than a passionate relationship with God, we will start to die and eventually fall into a rut or a pit. We become “grave tenders” of our lives instead of living life to its fullest. We see other people living life and enjoying it, yet in our own lives we are dead. We tend our very own grave, and often times we fight or force others to stay away from our grave. A. W. Tozer states in “Rut, Rot, or Revival” that we are in a “circular grave” when sin has entered our hearts. Sin will separate us from God. This is a fact.
A circular grave has no ending and no beginning. In other words, you can’t remember when or how you got in the mess you are in, and you can’t find a way out on your own. You are dead inside. You see no hope, and no way of escape. A dead corpse has no way of reviving it self. A dead corpse needs intervention from a living source to bring life back. Don’t fool yourself by thinking you can get out of this circular grave on your own. Allow the Giver of life to breathe new life back into your dead places in your heart. Allow God to show and direct you out of your circular grave and bring you on solid ground to stand boldly in Him. It will cost you your control. It will cost you your pride, but it is well worth having new reviving life back into your spirit again.
But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.
We all have sinned and need a Savior. Receiving Jesus Christ into your heart as Lord is the first step to a revival in your heart, but there is more to repentance then just receiving Christ in your heart. If one is truly repentant they will turn 180° in the opposite direction of their sin.
Satan will try and trip us up in sin. This causes bondage in our hearts and spirit, and a barrier preventing our hearts to be revived. Being aware that sin separates us from God helps us to do our best to stay away and even run from the appearance of evil. The more you fall in love with God the more you want to obey Him and do what pleases His heart.
Tozer also states that, “Since only sin offends God, and sin is extremely deceitful, it can be present doing its deadly work while the people may not be aware of it at all until it is called to their attention.”
Once you realize the sin that is causing you to feel separated from God, immediately repent and ask God to forgive you. The short term pleasure of sin is not worth the long term separation from God. The after affects of sin is not worth the pleasures of pleasing God and being close to him.
It is natural to be a better person when we are closer to God. It is natural to experience more of God and His love when sin is not in the picture. Allow God to show you right now if you have sin in your life that is separating you from Him. Take the time to repent and walk away from the debilitating and crippling sinful action.
Romans 8:15 (MSG)
This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid,“grave tending” life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike, “What’s next Papa? God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who He is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us an unbelievable inheritance!
Nothing is worth missing out on our inheritance from God. No sin is so good that it overshadows what we receive from God. No earthly pleasure is more pleasurable then getting closer to God and experiencing His joy and abundant life He has for us. The sacrifice of leaving our sin behind is nothing compared to the relationship we gain with God.
Sometimes we are plagued with disbelief or doubt. We find more pleasure in worldly ways. We don’t want to be told what to do.
2 Tim. 3:1 – 4 Amplified Bible
But understand this, that in the last days will come (set in) perilous times of great stress and trouble [hard to deal with and hard to bear]. For people will be lovers of self and [utterly] self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate [greedy] desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive (blasphemous, scoffing), disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane. [They will be] without natural [human] affection (callous and inhuman), relentless (admitting of no truce or appeasement); [they will be] slanderers (false accusers, troublemakers), intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good. [They will be] treacherous [betrayers], rash, [and] inflated with self-conceit. [They will be] lovers of sensual pleasures and vain amusements more than and rather than lovers of God.
4. Obsessed with self
Being obsessed with self means it is all about you and what you want, when you want it, and how you want it. You are always thinking of ways to satisfy yourself.
Romans 8:6 – 11 The Message Bible
Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored. But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won’t know what we’re talking about. But for you who welcome him, in whom he dwells – even though you still experience all the limitations of sin – you yourself experience life on God’s terms. It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he’ll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s!
Approval addictions, drug addictions, money addictions, food addictions, these and many more are grave clothes that God wants to remove from your life. See them for what they are… dead carcasses. No life, as a matter of fact they suck all the life out of you and leave you with shame, pain, and destruction.
Christ’s blood sets the addict free!
Proverbs 20:1 NKJV
Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.
Proverbs 6:26 NKJV
For by means of a harlot a man is reduced to a crust of bread; And an adulteress will prey upon his precious life.
6. Put off the “Old man”
Eph. 4:22 NKJV
“…that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts”
Col. 3:8 – 9 NJKV
But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds,
All these things are from the old life, old self, or old nature. These things should be shed off of us once we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior. We leave behind the old life and break away from it.
“It’s time to take your grave clothes off!”
God is trying to get you to a certain place and move you to another level. He is trying to move you to another level of grace, another level of His anointing, another level in your relationships, another level in your finances. He wants to change the way you think or look at life. You have to take your grave clothes off to get there
Sometimes the grave clothes are our own power or abilities. We have to be stripped of our own power to allow God’s power to manifest. If he does this, will you still serve Him? (Job – He gives and takes away)
The Lord will strip you down of your pride and humble you so that He can lift you up instead of you lifting yourself up. We all need to get to the place and say, “For God I live and for God I die.” Then you are ready for the next level in life.
When we are wrapped up in grave clothes we can’t work because our hands are bound. We can’t walk in light because our feet are bound. When we are wrapped in grave clothes we can’t witness or talk for the Lord because our mouths are bound. Bondage prevents us experiencing life and freedom in Christ!
Being in a rut and not wanting to get out of it is really a grave with the ends knocked out. Be revived in your spirit from sleeping or from death. Don’t allow your life to just drift. Have purpose and desire. Find your place in God and what His purpose is for your life.
Replace the grave clothes and put on…
1. Put on Christ
Gal. 3:27 NKJV
For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Rom. 13:14 NKJV
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
2. Put on the new self
Eph. 4:24 NASB
and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
Col. 3:10 NASB
and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him—
3. Put on the elect of God
Col. 3:10 – 17 NASB
So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.
4. Put on the whole armor of God
Eph. 6:11 NASB
Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.
5. A new heart and spirit
Eze. 36:26 NKJV
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
Psalm 32:11 Amplified Bible
Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you [uncompromisingly] righteous [you who are upright and in right standing with Him]; shout for joy, all you upright in heart!
Psalm 100:2 Amplified Bible
Serve the Lord with gladness! Come before His presence with singing!
7. Put on love
Colossians 3:14 NKJV
But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.
Jesus came and conquered the grave. It’s time you give your grave clothes over to Jesus, the Resurrection and the Life. He lives and wants you to have abundant life! He is all powerful and nothing, no one can take His power away.
God is bigger than any grave you may be carrying, pursuing, or wearing. It is up to you to let it all go and run to the resurrection and the life! Jesus came to give us all life, real life with meaning. He wants to heal your broken heart and bind up any wounds you may have from your past. When you receive Christ in your life, you have made the best decision you will ever make. It is an eternity decision. Where will you go after you die? If I were you, I would run to the One Who conquered the grave and holds the keys of death and hell. I would choose eternal life with Christ any day over eternity in Hell. Choose life!
Your sister in Christ,
Pastor Kris Belfils