Friday, June 3, 2016

God Wants Life Not Death

                                                                     Luke 7:11-17

     So how do you respond to the needs or troubles of others? In many different places in the Bible it tells us that Jesus was moved to the depths of His soul when He met people in need. Today , our use of the word compassion doesn't even come close to the true meaning of the Hebrew word splagchnizomai, which means you have so much empathy or sympathy for someone's troubles that it gives you pains, or yearnings from the bowels. Why did Jesus feel so much compassion when He met the mother of the dead young man? He not only grieved the death of this boy, but He also had concern for the widowed woman who had now lost her son. Because now, with the losing of her son, she has lost her future livelihood and security.

      The Bible tells us that God takes no pleasure in the death of anyone (Ezekiel 33:11). God wants life, not death. Jesus not only had a deep compassion for this widow who now has lost her son, but He has the ability to restore life. Jesus then approaches the dead young man and makes physical contact with the boy, which probably shocked anyone who had seen it. You see, the Jews had a belief  that contact with a dead body made one spiritually unclean or impure. Jesus' physical touch and empathy for the widow's loss not only shows the depth of His love, but also shows His desire to free everyone from the grips of sin and death. When Jesus spoke the words "Young man arise" it not only brought him back to life, but it also brought him freedom for his soul.

       Jesus is the Lord of the living as well as the dead. He chose as His own one whom death had taken as its prey. Just by the power of His word, He brought life back to a child marked for death. When Jesus died on the cross for our sins, He defeated death by rising again, just as He had promised His disciples. Even today, Jesus promises to anyone who believes that they shall have an abundant life with Him, and in Him now and forever (John 14:19). Do you trust in Jesus? He can give you renewed hope, He can give you the courage and strength to deal with life's trials, misfortunes, and despair....... Amen