Summary: “Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, Young man, I say to you, arise. And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother”. (Luke 7:14-15)
! Theme: The power that raises the dead
Text: 1 Kings 17:17-24; Gal. 1:11-24; Lk. 7:11-17
Introduction: God revealed His name to Moses at the burning bush when He commissioned him to free His people. God’s revealed name is “I Am who I Am”. God’s name was only fully understood when Jesus referred to Himself with the words “I am the bread of life; I am the true vine; I am the door; I am the way, the truth, and the life; I am the Good Shepherd; I am the Living Water; I am the resurrection and the life. “Christ came that we may have life and have it more abundantly”. (John 10:10) Unfortunately many believers are not enjoying this abundant life. They often behave like the Israelites did after their deliverance from Egyptian bondage. They witnessed the amazing power of God that freed them from bondage but were not satisfied with God’s provision of Manna from heaven and water from the rock. Their minds were still focused on the things Egypt had to offer. They still longed for the garlic, the cucumber and the fish they had eaten in Egypt and could not enjoy God’s provisions. Many believers today have that same mind-set. They are not enjoying God’s provisions because they have not renewed their minds and instead of enjoying God’s provisions focus on what the world has to offer. God brings life to our ruined finances, life to our sick and diseased bodies, and life to our lifeless marriages and family relationships but it is not enough for us. We complain and would rather have what the world has promised. God’s provisions are far greater than what the world has to offer and does not come with any sorrow for “His yoke is easy, and His burden is light”. (Matt. 11:30)
Step One: The person and character of Christ
a) Christ is the promised Messiah
God has the power that raises the dead and Jesus Christ is God. The main purpose of the gospels is to reveal Christ as the promised Messiah. Many believers know a lot about God but do not know Christ intimately. A person’s life immediately changes when an intimate relationship is established as in the case of Paul. We will stop doubting His words and stop asking “Has God really said?”
b) The compassion of Christ
We cannot know Christ intimately and not know of His love and compassion. His love and compassion made Him touch the leper and the dead. A leper in Bible times was an outcast and was not to be touched. He announced his presence by shouting “unclean, unclean” to keep everyone out of the way. The love and compassion of Christ overcame all barriers and He touched the untouchable.
c) The power of Christ
His touch released His power and authority. Instead of the unclean making Him unclean His touch brought life out of death and cleanness out of uncleanness. We cannot say we know God and doubt His claim to be “the resurrection and the life”.
God has all power and authority and is the only One with the power to kill and to make alive. God manifested this power to make the Israelites believe that He had sent Moses. When Moses put his hand into his cloak it became leprous like snow and someone with leprosy in those days was considered dead. When he put his hand in his cloak again his hand was restored to its normal state. This was a visible manifestation that God has power to raise the dead. When Elijah raised the widow’s son from the dead to life, the woman immediately know it was an act of God and said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD in your mouth is truth”. (1 Kings 17:24) Only God has the power to raise the dead.
Jesus Christ raised the dead because He is both man and God. The Holy Spirit raised Jesus Christ from the dead and since only God can raise the dead the Holy Spirit is also God, the third person of the Trinity. Jesus’ suffering, death and resurrection paid the penalty for sin so that God can raise believers from the dead.
Step Two: Christ is the source of life
a) Christ died to give us eternal life
Christ is the source of life and died to give us eternal life “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”. (Rom 6:23) “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him”. (John 3:17)
b) Christ justifies the sinner
Christ shed His blood for the justification of the sinner. He took our sin and became sin and gave us His righteousness to make us righteous.