Summary: Even though its painful the taste of death, be strong and trust in the God of Life.
Title: Don't Cry!!
by Robert F Collins
Bible Reading: Luke 7:11-17
Even though its painful the taste of death, be strong and trust in the God of Life!
Two crowds. One entering the city and one leaving. They couldn’t be more diverse. The group arriving buzzes with laughter and conversation. They follow Jesus. The group leaving the city is solemn a herd of sadness hypnotized by the requiem of death. Above them rides the reason for their grief a cold body on a wicker stretcher.
The woman at the back of the procession is the mother. She has walked this trail before. It seems like just yesterday she buried the body of her husband. Her son walked with her then. Now she walks alone, quarantined in her sadness. She is the victim of this funeral.
She is the one with no arm around her shoulder. She is the one who will sleep in the empty house tonight. She is the one who will make dinner for one and conversation with none. She is the one most violated. The thief stole her most treasured diamond companionship.
The followers of Jesus stop and step aside as the procession shadows by. The blanket of mourning muffles the laughter of the disciples. No one speaks. What could they say? They feel the same despair felt by the bystanders at any funeral. “Someday that will be me.”
No one intervenes. What could they do? Their only choice is to stand and stare as the mourners shuffle past.
Jesus, however, knows what to say and what to do. When He sees the mother, His heart begins to break... and His lips begin to tighten. He glares at the angel of death that hovers over the body of the boy. “Not this time, Satan. This boy is mine.”
At that moment the mother walks in front of him. Jesus speaks to her. Don’t cry. She stops and looks into this Stranger’s face. If she wasn’t shocked by His presumption, you can bet some of the witnesses were.
Don’t cry? Don’t cry? What kind of request is that? A request only God can make.
Jesus steps toward the bier and touches it. The pallbearers stop marching. The mourners cease moaning. As Jesus stares at the boy, the crowd is silent.
The demon had been perched spiderlike over the body. He was enjoying the parade. He was the warden. The people were the prisoners. He was marching the condemned to execution. They were watching from behind invisible bars, imprisoned by their impermanence. He had relished the fear in the faces. He had giggled at their despair.
Then he hears the Voice.
That Voice... he knows the owner. His back arches and he hisses instinctively. He turns. He doesn’t see what others see. He doesn’t see the face of a Nazarene. He doesn’t hear the voice of a man. He sees the wrath of God. He hears the command of a King.
Get out of here.
He doesn’t have to be told twice.
Jesus turns his attention to the dead boy. Young man, His voice is calm, come back to life again.
The living stand motionless as the dead comes to life. Wooden fingers move. Gray-pale cheeks blush. The dead man sits up. Luke’s description of what happens next is captivating.