Deuteronomy 5:1-6:25; Luke 7:11-35; Psalm 68:19-35; Proverbs 11:29-31
Touching a dead body was a huge no-no in the ancient Jewish culture. Touching a dead body rendered someone ceremonially unclean which meant special rules and restrictions and sacrifices followed. No one knowingly touched the dead without seriously counting the cost and the inconvenience.
“As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out–the only son of his mother, and she was a widow…when the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, ‘Don’t cry.'” Luke 7:12-13
Compassion ruled Jesus’ heart.
Love and understanding guided Jesus’ actions.
He knew that this woman had no future and no hope without family to support her.
Jesus did what his “gut” instructed him to do.
“Then he went up and touched the coffin and those carrying it stood still. He said,“Young man, I say to you, get up!” vs. 14
A ‘gutsy’ move on Jesus’ part. He didn’t even look around to see if a Pharisee lurked among the crowd scowling at him for breaking yet another law.
“The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.” vs.15
It was the right thing to do.
The crowd recognized it too. “They were all filled with awe and praised God”… and said, “God has come to help his people.” vs. 16
A mother and a people now had hope.
Lord God, you have given us hope! When we were dead in our trespasses (sins) you made us alive together with Christ. We have been saved by your grace! We give you thanks and praise!
As Easter approaches may we reach out to those who need to have hope–that they can know their lives are not “dead ends”; that because you live they too can experience new life. May there be many lost sons, daughters, husbands, wives, mothers, fathers restored to families and to you this Easter. In Jesus’ name we most fervently pray–Amen.
“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior,
who daily bears our burdens.
Our God is a God who saves;
from the Sovereign Lord comes
escape from death.”