Dear children of God, believers in the resurrected and living Christ. What Jesus said to the mother of the young man at Nain, He says to you and me: “Weep not.” Whatever our trouble may be, the Word of Jesus has the power to wipe our tears away.
Your faith in Christ is not in vain. He who once died, now lives to never die again. That is the foundation of your faith. Because Jesus lives, you too shall live.
Christ is living proof that your sins and mine are completely forgiven. No matter how great they may be, Christ’s resurrection proves that the Father accepted His sacrifice for our sins. Even though we do not deserve heaven because of our sins, Jesus deserved it for us, and we will be accepted into heaven because of Him. “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
The day after healing the Centurion’s servant, Jesus encounters a funeral procession in progress. People can deny sin, and many do. People can deny that the devil is real, and many do, because we cannot prove in a lab that the devil is real, or that sin is real. But, people cannot deny that death is real. It can be seen and measured. It can be touched. It can be felt.
As in the case of this widow, who had already lost her husband, and now her only son too…death can completely turn someone’s world upside down. There’s no denying that.
Yet Jesus came to bare our griefs, and to carry our sorrows. He isn’t someone that just feels for us from a distance, He actually does something about it. He carries our sorrows.
The very first thing Jesus does, upon encountering this funeral, is He has compassion on the mother. That word compassion not only means that He felt for her, but also, He was moved to do something. He was moved to alleviate her pain.
So Jesus tells her to “weep not”. He says, “Don’t cry”… because of what He was about to do. Those were not empty words.
“He came and touched the bier [coffin]: and they that bare him stood still. And He said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And He delivered him to his mother.”
This may remind us of another resurrection story, that of Elijah, and the widow of Zarephath, who lost her son too. Elijah prayed to God, and God answered, and raised her son. Or, how about Peter in the book of Acts, he too prayed, and God answered, and raised Tabitha (Dorcas) from the dead.
But did we notice something different when Jesus raised the young man? Jesus did not need to pray. Jesus is God. He has all the power of God dwelling in Him bodily. He speaks, and things get done. His Word has the power to heal our every wound, and most of all, to cleanse us from our every sin.
Let’s not mince words here. There is no denying that death is real. Even though we cannot prove it in a lab, sin is real too. And because of our sin, we deserve the wages of sin. We all deserve to be judged and condemned because of our sin.
“By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”
Yet, “as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”
Christ was judged by God, and Jesus died for our sin. He who knew no sin was made to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. He died that we might live.
There is no denying that sin and death are real. Yet Jesus suffered the punishment that our sins deserved on the cross. He went through death to overcome all sin and death for us. So He promises, “He that heareth My Word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”
Jesus lives. That means that our sins are forgiven. His Spirit assures us of this comforting fact and He keeps us in the one true saving faith by His Word.
We’ve probably all thought at one time or another, “Lord when are you going to give me such a miracle? and come and do something about my grief?”
But the truth is that He already has. There is no denying that the root and the source of our every problem, every grief, is overcome. The proof is in the resurrection of Christ. It proves that the Father accepted His sacrifice for our sin.
To assure us of this fact, He does come to us, He does visit us, like He did with the widow at Nain. He comes to us in our Baptism, where He miraculously joined water and His Word, and washed all our sin away. He removed everything that stood in between us and God.
He visits us in the Lord’s Supper. He continues to grant us His true body and blood by a miracle, which was given and shed for the remission of all our sins.
So He has visited and redeemed His people. What many perhaps fail to remember is that the young man of Nain did eventually die again, as did Lazarus, and the daughter of Jairus, Tabitha, and the widow of Zarephath’s son.
Yet Jesus came to go through death for us, so that we never have to go through it alone. So that we do not need to fear it. He overcame the root and source of all death. He overcame our sin.
We are victorious through faith in Him. “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?...Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
For “He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.”
May He continue to comfort, strengthen, and assure you of your coming resurrection, and your coming glorified body, by His Word and Spirit. Because Jesus lives, you too will live. Because He lives, it proves our sins are forgiven. In His name. Amen.