Summary: When Jesus was around the dead couldn't stay dead and the living couldn't stay silent
What a way to ruin a funeral Luke 7:11-17
I heard about a gifted public speaker, who was asked, what was his most difficult speaking assignment? He said, "That's easy. It was a speech I gave to the National Conference of Undertakers and the topic was 'How to Look Sad at a Ten Thousand Dollar Funeral.'
On a dark and stormy night, an American, a Canadian and a Scotsman were in a bad car accident. All three were rushed to the hospital, though all three had died before they arrived. Just as they were about to put the toe tag on the American, he awoke and opened his eyes. Astonished, the doctors and nurses asked him what had happened.
The American replied, “I remember the crash, and then there was a bright white light, and then the Canadian and the Scotsman and I were standing at the Pearly Gates. St. Peter approached us and said that we were all too young to die, and that for a donation of $150 we could return to earth. So, of course I pulled out my wallet and gave him the $150 and the next thing I knew I was back here”.
One of the doctors said, “That’s amazing, but what happened to the other two?” The American replied, “Last I saw them, the Scotsman was haggling over the price, and the Canadian was waiting for the government to pay his.”
I’m told that in a cemetery in Hanover, Germany, there’s very unusual grave because on top of the grave are huge slabs of granite and marble cemented together and fastened with heavy steel clasps. This grave belongs to a woman who did not believe in the resurrection of the dead. Yet strangely, she directed in her will that her grave be made so secure that if there were a resurrection, it would not affect her. On the marker are inscribed these words: "This burial place must never be opened."
Well…. It didn’t work because in the dirt beneath those slabs of marble and granite was a tiny seed. And in time – even though it was covered with those huge blocks of stone, the seed began to grow, and it slowly pushed its way through the dirt and out from the slabs. As it forced its way up and the marble and granite were gradually shifted so that the steel clasps that held them were wrenched from their sockets.
A tiny seed had become a tree and this tree pushed aside the stones and the grave was opened. Listen, when Jesus comes back, all the dead are going to rise – whether they want to or not.
So, imagine you are driving up King Street and as you almost get to MacDonald’s south of Columbia the traffic really slows down which it usually does but now it was really slow but then you notice what’s slowing everything down because you’re driving behind a funeral procession.
All the cars in front have their four way flashes on and you assume it was probably for someone well-known or even for someone very young because death seems to be worse for those who haven’t had a chance to live what most of us would consider to be a natural life.
At the front of this long line of cars is the lead car which is followed by the hearse which is carrying the casket and that’s followed by the family car which holds the immediate family and then there’s the rest of the family and all their friends.
So, you drive into the other lane to get by and then you remember reading in the paper the day before how a teen-ager had been killed in a motorcycle accident and you assume this was his funeral. And then you think, oh, the paper said the woman’s husband had died of cancer a few months back and now she’s lost her son.
And as you’re thinking about her you remember the time you that you had been in the car behind the hearse and it was carrying one of your loved ones to the graveyard and you remembered how much you dreaded this part of the funeral.
So, you’re moving a little better than this procession but when you approach the light you notice that someone steps into the traffic and stops the hearse, and then he walks back to the family car which holds the dead boy’s mother and when she lowered the window He told her not to cry. And then He went back to the hearse and told the driver to open the back door and roll out the casket!
Well, you can't believe what you’re seeing because all these horrified friends and relatives would be jumping out of their cars and screaming at this man to get away from the hearse. But He speaks to the corpse and says, "Young man, I say to you get up." And right before your eyes, the eyes of his mother, the eyes of the funeral procession and everyone else; this young man who had been killed in an accident and then laid out in a funeral home for two days actually got up and started talking!