Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wednesday, July 17th

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 2 Chronicles 23-24, Psalm 121, 1 Corinthians 9
Today's scripture focus is Luke 8:49-56

Luke 8:49-56

English Standard Version (ESV)
49 While he was still speaking, someone from the ruler's house came and said, “Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher any more.” 50 But Jesus on hearing this answered him, “Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well.” 51 And when he came to the house, he allowed no one to enter with him, except Peter and John and James, and the father and mother of the child. 52 And all were weeping and mourning for her, but he said, “Do not weep, for she is not dead but sleeping.” 53 And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54 But taking her by the hand he called, saying, “Child, arise.” 55 And her spirit returned, and she got up at once. And he directed that something should be given her to eat. 56 And her parents were amazed, but he charged them to tell no one what had happened.

Accompanying John MacArthur sermon: Jesus' Compassionate Power Part 2
Accompanying Mark Driscoll sermon: Jesus Heals a Woman and a Girl

This is really the 2nd half of yesterday's passage.

Yesterday we saw that Jesus took the time to respond to a woman who was a societal outcast.  Here we see that this was, for Jairus' daughter, a deadly choice.

Jairus missed his daughter's death.  Now obviously, no parent want's their child to die.  I can't really even let myself try to imagine how traumatic that experience would be.  But if they have to die, I think every parents would want to be there for their child's last moments.  But Jairus wasn't there.  Not because he didn't love his daughter, but because he was trying to save her, by reaching out to the only One who could help.

And this man had faith.  Even after hearing the news that the worst had happened - his daughter was dead.  Luke doesn't tell us, but Matthew tells us....
“My daughter has just died, but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live.”
His faith did not waver.

And so Jesus went to His house - and He redefined death.  She is only sleeping.  Our physical death is really as though our body is sleeping and awaiting its bodily resurrection where it will be united with our eternal souls and live forever - either in heaven or in hell.

The mournings laugh at Jesus, mocking Him.  These are more than likely the hired mournings (as was customary for funerals), because the family would not be able to move from weeping to laughing in a heartbeat like that.  They may have been bewildered, maybe even angered, if they didn't understand what Jesus meant.  But they wouldn't have laughed.

And then Jesus took her by the hand and, with no fanfare, raised her back to life.  And immediately she got up - no resting period necessary, this was complete and instantaneous healing from death to full life.  And then she ate - proving that she was not a ghost, but had truly been raised back to life.

I love it that Jesus took her by the hand.  First, because that's what Jairus had asked of Him, and He compassionately did as he requested.  But because it is so personal, and reveals His deep compassion for His children.

We serve a personal God.  This is mind boggling, considering how many people occupy this earth!  But it's true.  Someone, beyond our human comprehension, God can see all our needs.  And He comes alongside us in our pain.  Sometimes to heal in this life, always to heal in the next.  Sometimes simply to provide the comfort and peace that only He can give.  But He is there.  He cares.  He is with us.  God with us - Emmanuel.

MacArthur: We don't have to fear death as believers, we can trust the one who conquered it.

He conquered death when He raised others to life. And He conquered death with finality when He rose from the dead.  The sting of death is gone.  Yes, it still hurts when we lose those we love.  But we mourn with the sure hope that we will be reunited.  Death's victory is indeed shallow because it is not forever.

Sleep is a euphemism. It’s a metaphor that the Bible uses to speak of those who die in faith as believers. See, death, ultimately, is not just physical death, but it’s spiritual death, which is separation from God. Some of you are physically alive, but spiritually dead, living apart from Jesus. You’re dead in your trespasses and sins, the Bible would say. And that because of your sins, you will die, and upon death, you will experience eternal death in hell. That’s the worst death of all. That’s the ultimate death.

Those who have faith in Jesus, and belong to Jesus, and are believers in Jesus, when they die physically, they do not experience ultimate death because their soul goes to be with Jesus. We have a physical body and an immaterial soul, and upon the death of the physical body, the immaterial soul goes to be with God. That’s why Paul says, “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” That’s why Paul would say elsewhere that “to live is Christ and to die is,” what? “Gain.”

And so the Bible uses the language of sleep when the believer dies; that the body goes into the ground, and the soul goes to be with the Lord until the day that the Lord Jesus returns, and he commands the soul to reenter and occupy the body; that the soul and the body are rejoined in a glorified resurrected body patterned after the resurrection body of Jesus....

Sin results in suffering and death, we see that in both stories of the older woman and the young girl.....We will all die. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, therefore all die. And one day death will come for us all, and you and I will die. And if our faith is in Jesus, we will die in him, and we will rise like him, forever to be with him.
Jesus is the only One that has proven to have power over death. Jesus' grave has been empty since 3 days after His death.  Everyone else, including every other religious leader in all of human history, has a grave marker with their name on it.  I'm glad I serve the only living God!

Tomorrow's scripture focus: Luke 9:1-6
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: 2 Chronicles 25-26, Psalm 122, 1 Corinthians 10

No comments: