Of mummies and men
Published 12:08 pm Friday, October 18, 2019
“Let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12:1
Each fall, around this time of year, I like to watch old monster movies. One of the classic monsters is “The Mummy.” I like the old black and white Universal Mummy series starring Lon Chaney Jr. I also like the colorful Hammer production starring Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. I haven’t seen the new movies starring Brendan Fraser and most recently, Tom Cruise. Those “mummies” move too fast. I think that a guy who has been dead for three thousand years and is all bandaged up should move slowly.
The original mummy tried chasing people but he could hardly move. Some even felt sorry for the mummy and wanted to help him. But not me: He doesn’t have to be fast to be scary to me! He’s creepier when he slumbers.
But you didn’t come here for a critique about scary movies. My point is: too many followers of Jesus walk like mummies. They walk slowly because of all the wrappings and old dead things from the past.
It is hard for a mummy to jump for joy, run the good race, walk the good walk, hug another person or show love because of the old wrappings. Maybe you are wearing old wrappings. You are not the only one. The Gospel of John, Chapter 11 records the story of a mummy named Lazarus — The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
Lazarus was alive, but he could hardly move. Lazarus was dead but Jesus raised him to life and said to “remove the wrappings.”
The Apostle Paul writes in Hebrews 12:1 to encourage us to “Lay aside every weight, and sin.” Sin is like an octopus that grabs us first with one tentacle, then another, until we are trapped. Sin makes it harder for us to follow Jesus, or to trust in him for our salvation. Sin can hold us back. But there are also things that may not be sin (every weight) but are merely hindrances that can keep us from running effectively the race God has for us. Is there a weight in your life you must lay aside?
How about you? You can be raised to life but not be able to move because you are still wearing old wrappings from the past. God did not raise you up to be a walking mummy, but to be free. Take off the burial clothes, bindings, baggage and run the race. Jump for joy. Break through the wrappings and be free. You have been set free from all earthly bindings. Throw off the old you and rejoice, for you have been redeemed!
REV. JOHN MOXLEY can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.