Summary: This message is based on the story of Jesus raising Jarius’ daughter. Several illustrations are from Ron Mehl’s book Surprise Endings and one from Max Lucado. Death does not care about race, gender or age.... but we have the sure promises of Jesus, guar
In Jesus Holy Name September 21, 2005
Text: Luke 8:41-42 Funeral Redeemer
“Hope, Secured by Knowledge and Faith”
There is a story in the Bible about a name named Jairus. He was the ruler of a local Jewish synagogue. His daughter, age 12 was gravely ill. She was dying. There was nothing the family physicans could do. The family had no hope. Jairus had heard about this man Jesus. He was a miracle worker. He was known to heal people. If Jairus could just find Jesus there might be hope. (Luke 8:41-42)
The story continues: Jarius fell down at the feet of Jesus and begged Him to come to his house and heal his only daughter. During the conversation someone came from Jairus’ house saying: “Your daughter is dead. Do not trouble the teacher any more.” Hope was shattered on the rocks of reality.
“No one is exempt from mortality and not one of us can evade it. For all of us, life is as fragile as a freshly blown bubble.”
“Multi-billionaire Howard Hughes wanted to hide from death. Toward the end of his days, he secreted himself away in a germ free environment, not allowing anyone to come into his presence without rubber gloves and a face mask. But Death, the intruder, came through a locked door without knocking and that was that.”
Death does not care about age, race, gender or political persuasion. It is not intimidated by stature, influence, or possessions. And it can strike utterly without warning. This is the sudden, unexpected shocking reality that brings us together today as a family and friends as we remember________.
Death comes to the believer and unbeliever alike. And it hurts just the same.
In our bible story, Jesus hears the devastating news delivered to Jairus. They were words without hope. “It’s too late. Don’t bother the teacher any more.” They were crushing words. They must have sucked the air right out of his lungs. He might have crumbled to the dust. The family had hoped that Jesus could heal their sick daughter. But death? Who can reverse that reality?
We all hope to live a long and full life. Sons and daughters were hoping for more family events, more time on the golf course, more time for laughter and friendship. But it was not to be. Grief will linger long after today, because you will live with unlived tomorrows.
We all have to face it. In a life marked by doctor appointments, dentist appointments, school appointments, there is one appointment that none of us will miss, the appointment with death. It is a topic we don’t like to talk about. We would like to avoid the issue.
In our bible story we hear the words of Jesus: “Jairus, do not be afraid; only believe.” Why would Jesus say those words? Because he knew the future. He knew he would raise the little girl from death. He knows the future for all who believe in him and his own resurrection from the dead.
Jesus said, “I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30)
“Don’t let your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. I will prepare a place for you. And I will come back and take you to be with me.” (John 14:1-2)
Note the promise of Jesus. “I will come back and take you to be with me.” He pledges to come and take us to our eternal home in heaven. He does not delegate this task. He may send missionaries to teach you, angels to protect you, teachers to guide you, singers to inspire you, and physicians to heal you, but he sends no one to take you home. He is our personal Savior. That’s why the Psalmist can offer these words of hope: “Yea, though I walk though the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. For you are with me.”
Would God, our Father and creator, who loves us require his children to journey to eternity alone? Absolutely not!
He is always with us. “God is our refuge and strength and ever present help in trouble….. if the earth gives way I will not be afraid. For the Lord Almighty is with us.” (Ps. 46)
Jesus offers hope even in the face of death. When Lazarus, one of his best friends’s died, he himself wept over the death. He knew the future. He knew that he would raise Lazarus from death, yet he wept. Mary and Martha were deeply grieved over the death of their brother. There is nothing wrong with pain and hurt, a sense of emptiness that leaves only tears, at the death of a loved one….as long as you do so with hope.