14 Then he went up and touched the bier they were carrying him on, and the bearers stood still. He said, ‘Young man, I say to you, get up!’ 15 The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother. – Luke 7:14-15
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Last week we started to look at Jesus and the widow from Nain. We saw Jesus encounter this poor widow who had lost her only son. We noted how Jesus stopped what he was doing to engage with this woman’s grief. Upon seeing her we were told that Jesus’ heart went out to her. He felt her pain deeply. Upon seeing her anguish, he tells her not to cry; something that doesn’t sound awfully compassionate does it? We know that crying is a perfectly normal and right thing to do when someone we love has died. Jesus himself wept at the death of his friend Lazarus. So is he being insensitive here? If you and I had said that, we probably would have been, but not Jesus. We see why in what he does next. Upon seeing the son lying there on the burial blanket, Jesus touches the body. This act was one that was forbidden under Jewish law. To come into contact with a dead body meant you would be unclean and you would have to perform certain ceremonial cleansing rituals to be made clean again. Yet, despite knowing this, Jesus deliberately chooses to touch this dead body and make himself unclean. He then tells this dead boy to “get up;” the eyewitness account tells us that he “sat up and began to talk.” This staggering event points forward to Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
On Good Friday Jesus chose to become unclean for us. He chose to take upon himself all the wrong things we do that make us unclean before God. He then died in our place taking the judgement of God we deserve so we don’t have to. His death means the penalty for our wrongdoing has been dealt with and we can be free from sin and judgement.
On Easter Sunday he rose again to new life proving that he has power over death. His resurrection means death has now been defeated and we can have the glorious hope of eternal life. This event is one that transforms and changes everything now and for eternity. At this Easter time may we rejoice, give thanks for and be transformed by the power of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Wishing you all a Happy Easter.