2022-2-27 “He Came…Resurrecting”

Cornerstone EPC                                                                                       Sunday morning          Franklin, NC 28734                                                                                   February 27, 2022

“He Came…Resurrecting”
Luke 7:11-17

We know, by now, that Jesus came—among other things—preaching, teaching, healing, exorcising, and saving.  We also could have noted, in this series, that Jesus came providing for physical need, stilling storms, and the like.  Today we conclude our series by noting that Jesus came resurrecting.  In today’s text, we go with Jesus to a Galilean village called Nain.  At Nain, we see Jesus raise the dead—and from our comfortable seats here we’ll note the glorious implications of this.  As is customary on this day at this time each week, once again let us give our attention to the Word of God read and proclaimed in this place.


Jesus, soon after He healed the centurion’s servant at Capernaum, comes to Nain—a village southwest of the Sea of Galilee, southeast of Nazareth, and south of Cana, where Jesus wrought His first miracle (John 2:1-11).  Jesus’ disciples, and a great crowd, accompany Him to the village, and another great crowd, leaving the town, meets the other crowd entering it.  The entering crowd soon sees what the exiting crowd has witnessed for some time and distance.

A man’s body is being carried from the village.  This somber sight is grievous enough in itself, but it is doubly grievous in that the man’s mother, a widow, is bereft both of her beloved son and of her sole means of material support.  These griefs, atop the prior grief of a husband’s death, likely render this woman almost inconsolable.  The great loves of her life are no more on earth.  Her economic prospect is uncertain, but likely bleak.  What—or Who—can avail for this stricken woman?

Jesus sees this widowed, grieving woman, and—as Luke tells us through the Holy Spirit—He has compassion for her.  This compassion (Greek splagchnidzomai [σπλαγχνιζομαι]) is concern to profound degree; what Jesus feels for this woman, He feels bodily—even abdominally.  What, then, Jesus says to this woman, He says to her from the infinite depth of His being, “Do not weep.”  Are His very words comfort to her grieving soul, independent of what Jesus, and we, know is coming—though she does not?

Now what Jesus act decisively in this situation.  He comes to the bier—that is, the coffin or casket—and He touches it, likely to indicate He wishes the procession to the cemetery to stop.  The bearers comply; they stop.  Then Jesus speaks—in the voice that wakes the dead.  He uses neither cardiopulmonary resuscitation nor defibrillator to accomplish His will.  Just as our triune God brought the world into existence by vocal command, so also Jesus bring this man’s life back to him with a word.  

Jesus addresses the corpse, saying, “Young man, I say to you, arise.”  Then the crowds that day, and we, see the evidence for the corpse’s resurrection.  The young man sits up, from the bier, and he speaks.  The resurrection now accomplished, Jesus returns the resurrected young man to his mother.  No doubt her delight and comfort know no bounds.   Her son is alive and well, with all that entails—including her material security.

Note the reaction of the two crowds.  Fear seized them all.  This most unusual, most unnatural occurrence engenders fear, in one sense, in their hearts—as does this mind-boggling display of Jesus’ power.    Fear seized them in another, more welcome sense as well.  They glorify God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and, “God has visited His people!”  Indeed, they speak better than they know—for God incarnate stands before them doing and saying all they see and hear.  What they see and hear they cannot contain.  They publish this news through all Judea and the surrounding country—a fairly long distance from where the event transpired.

There are four resurrections recorded in the Gospels.  In addition to the one we noted today, there also is the raising of the daughter of Jairus, the synagogue ruler (Mark 5:21-24, 35-43, and par.), the raising of Lazarus, late in Jesus’ public ministry, at Bethany (John 11:1-44), and, of course, the raising of Jesus Himself from Joseph of Arimathea’s borrowed tomb (Matthew 28:1-10, and par.).  Moreover, there are others recorded in Scripture.  Elijah raised the son of the widow of Zarephath to life (1 Kings 17:17-24), and Elisha, his prophetic successor, raised the Shunammite’s son to life (2 Kings 4:18-37).   Peter raised Dorcas to life (Acts 9:36-43), and Paul raised Eutychus to life (Acts 20:7-12). 

Resurrection, from death to life by the hand of Almighty God, simply is tremendous.  It is the culminating act of this sermon series.  It is, in Lazarus’ resurrection, the culminating sign of Jesus’ seven signs in John’s Gospel.  It is, moreover, in Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, the coup de grace—the final, finishing blow—against the hordes of hell.  Yet, of the four resurrected in the Gospel, and of the other resurrections elsewhere in Scripture, all but one would undergo physical death again.  

Yet hear the Good News, the Gospel, from Jesus’ lips: “Because I live, you will live also” (John 14:19b).  Jesus never shall taste death again.  By virtue of His raised, indestructible life, He has defeated death—and sin, and the grave, and hell, and the evil one.  Jesus raises us today from the dead.  Jesus raises us, via regeneration, from being dead in sins and trespasses to being alive with Him (cf. Ephesians 2:1-10, esp. ibid, 1-7).  We who are in Christ continue to live even after our respective physical deaths—should the Father delay the Son’s return sufficiently long.  We who are in Christ, upon physical death, enter immediately the intermediate state—Heaven (while our bodies do rest in the grave).  There we behold our Savior face to face, in all of His glory, with all the inestimable benefits that flow therefore.  Moreover, we shall in due time enter the final state, the new heavens and the new earth—with all evil vanquished and everything set right, forever and ever.  Jesus came resurrecting.  Glory be unto His Name.