St. Paul's Lutheran Church

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Then [Jesus] came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. – Luke 7:14-15

The words of Jesus are so powerful and effective that the dead teenager did not lie as before, but instantly sat up, even in his bindings, and began to speak, fully alive and well. This was an immediate change from death to life, and all things that belong to life (breath, blood, senses, movement, thought, speech, etc.) were restored by a mere word from Jesus. He instantly turned a sad and mournful affair into one of joy and gladness by His words, and by it many believed.

But this honor and glory belongs only to Christ Jesus who, by mere words, has power over sin and death. After this event, the word spread throughout the whole region concerning the Christ. We discover what sort of Savior He is, that He comes to still our fear of death and judgment but gives us instead true hope and consolation. That the Christ came to be a servant to all, to help the weak and poor, and to be the Lord over both death and life, to destroy the former and bring to light the latter. He alone met death, fought with it, and defeated it. We see this many times in the Scripture (Jairus’ daughter, Lazarus, etc.) and the greatest defeat of death was when He Himself overcame death by His own resurrection.

We should take full comfort in His power over death so that in our own hour of death, we may look beyond our grave and see our resurrections. And even in times of distress, we should learn to look beyond our immediate pain and look with hope to He who takes our pain by His victory over death and life. Yes, the more misery and death are in us, the more richly we shall find comfort and life in Him, provided we continue in Him by faith, trusting that Christ Jesus is Lord of death and life.

Prayer: Christ Jesus, You are Lord of all, but most importantly, You defeated death and ushered in true life. Keep me ever-trusting in Your Word so that, upon my sleep of death, I may die firmly knowing You will raise me to eternal life. Amen.