Time to get up and get going

by Babs Sanya – 2 April 2018

“Soon afterwards, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out – the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, ‘Don’t cry.’ 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!’ The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother. They were all filled with awe and praised God. ‘A great prophet has appeared among us,’ they said. ‘God has come to help his people.’ This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country.” (Luke 7:11-17)

ConThe book of judges in the bible explained text

The town of Nain, was just like any other town in Israel during biblical times when Jesus walked the earth. The town was filled with people, people going about the business of life. People with dreams, hopes and aspirations. People with issues and problems. People leading normal lives who would from time to time experience death. Death within the community: of a friend, a family member, or a son or daughter.

The inevitability of death is not something that people often grapple with, it is something of an inevitability that we all acknowledge and accept. We simply accept it as part of life. The timing of death on the other hand is something else. It is generally accepted in many cultures that children will outlive their parents. No parent wants to bury their son or daughter, which is arguably one of the worst of life experiences one has to contend with. The pain, the sorrow, the grief, the contemplation of a life snatched in its infancy. The sense of loss, as one contemplates the future that has been snatched (so untimely) from the individual. It was this scene that Jesus encountered as he approached the town gates of Naim.

A burial procession for a dead young man, his mum’s – herself a widow – only son. The burial cortege with the mourners led by his grieving mum with close family members trying desperately to console her, whilst appreciating that no mum wants to be consoled at a time like this. There is a lot of weeping and wailing. The men are also equally grieving, perhaps not as openly as the women, but nevertheless they feel the pain of loss just as bad. The evidence is borne on their long drawn faces as they ponder with a great send of loss, the passing of the young man, perhaps very talented with a bright future ahead, one that will now never be fulfilled.

Some might even wonder at the justness or ‘rightness’ of it all. Why or how could God allow such a thing to have occurred, they might have wondered. Shaking their heads ever so slowing the mood is sombre, sad and depressing. There is no joy or happiness on show at a time like this. Just grief, sadness, a sense of loss. I know, because I have been there before.

Moved with Compassion

Jesus takes it all in and not surprisingly he is very touched and moved with what he saw. His heart goes out to the grieving widow mum, and moved with compassion, Jesus reaches out and speaks to the woman.

By now, Jesus has already made up his mind to step in, to intervene in this woman's situation. Jesus has already decided that this young man is going to get a second chance at life. His life, that many thought was over, was about to be reignited. His mum, and all present are about to witness something that as far as they know is impossible. People generally stay dead, once they've died, been embalmed and prepared for burial. At least they do, until something or someone supernatural steps in. Until Jesus steps in.

Jesus walked up to the procession, spoke to the young man and commanded him (ie speaking to the corpse) to "wake up". To wake up as if he were simply asleep. But at the command from Jesus, wake up is precisely what he did. He not only woke up, but was clear minded and lucid enough that he began speaking to those around him. Now we can all imagine what transpires next. The confusion as to what had just occurred, the barrage of questions as the (many) minds try to comprehend what they have just witnessed. There is a flurry of activity, mixed with curiosity, fear, confusion; basically pandemonium as the dead man starts speaking. The pall bearers drop the man, clearly they are either surprised, or in shock, or both. Mum rushes in to grab her son in a bear hug, perhaps so tight that he can hardly breathe. Pandemonium makes way for joy unspeakable and celebration.

Change has come. Yours too!

Change has come to the erstwhile sleepy town of Nain. Nothing will ever be the same again here. People will tell this story over and over again, the storytellers will be branded liars, they will be branded as hallucinating, they will be called names by people who simply are unable to believe or accept that the young man was brought back to life. The arguments will rage, emotions will run wild, maybe fists will be engaged, that is until the young man steps forward to confirm ‘what the Lord has done’.

The town could be Romford, Hornchurch, Elm Park or your Town. The situation that Jesus witnesses could be a challenging situation that you are going through. Perhaps and thankfully it is not as severe as that of a loved one passing, but it is severe enough that it keeps you awake at night with stress and worry. It is a battle that you have been in for a long time, and it looks like, it positively feels like,a battle that you have already lost. It seems that there is no hope for you, your situation or condition.

Your change could already be near now, near enough for you to even touch it. Jesus is still giving life to the dead, he is still giving life and hope into situations that everyone has written off as ‘failed’, ‘irreversible’, or even 'dead'. So this Easter Christians the world over again celebrated the risen Lord in a host of celebration events. Time for you to reflect on the story of the young man raised to life by Jesus. Reflect on those areas of your life that perhaps you have been struggling with, areas that are maybe in decline, maybe even dead. I want you to reach out to our life-giving, life-changing Saviour with hope and in faith for a change, a positive change. Hope instead of hopelessness, life instead of death, fertility instead of infertility, progress instead of lack thereof and so on. I want you to arise and shine because your light has come, and the glory of our risen King is upon you. Jesus is alive. His power to bring hope and life to the dead and dying is still available through the working of his Spirit. He is still in the business of bringing life and hope in hopeless and lifeless situations.

 


Answers to Questions
Webpage icon What is the book of Judges about?
Webpage icon Jesus was just a good man, not God
Webpage icon What you need to know about the church
Webpage icon The fall of mankind explained
Webpage icon The book of Joshua
Webpage icon Fasting
Webpage icon The book of Job
Webpage icon The Holy Spirit
Webpage icon Death before the fall
Webpage icon Is God morally relative?
Webpage icon What is the book of Numbers all about?
Webpage icon Is hell a real place?
Webpage icon What the Bible says about suffering
Webpage icon Do all religions worship the same God?


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