Only Jesus can raise you from death; both physically and spiritually. The Bible tells us before we accepted Christ we were dead in our trespasses. Once we accept Jesus, we are made alive in Him.
Both of those statements related to the spiritual side of being raised from the dead.
Now I want to look at four physical raising from the dead examples to see what significances they point to for us.
The first example appears in three of the four gospels. Matthew 9:18-23, Mark 5:22-35, and Luke 8:40-49.
Matthew 9:18 says:
18 While He spoke these things to them, behold, a ruler came and worshiped Him, saying, “My daughter has just died, but come and lay Your hand on her and she will live.” 19 So Jesus arose and followed him, and so did His disciples.
A ruler came and worshiped Jesus. His first priority was to come to Jesus. His next priority was to worship the One who is worthy. The ruler stated his faith in Jesus, “My daughter has just died, but come and lay Your hand on her and she will live.” The ruler had faith to believe it was possible to raise his daughter from death. He had the courage to come to Jesus and ask for this miracle. His hope in Jesus being willing to come, enabled him to ask. The ruler was rewarded. Jesus arose and followed him.
Matthew 9:23-25 says:
23 When Jesus came into the ruler’s house and saw the flute players and the noisy crowd wailing, 24 He said to them, “Make room, for the girl is not dead, but sleeping.” And they ridiculed Him. 25 But when the crowd was put outside, He went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose.
Jesus comes to the house and sees the commotion of the crowd. He says, “Make room the girl is not dead but sleeping.” The crowd ridicules Jesus. After the crowds were dealt with, Jesus took the girl by the hand and the girl arose. Those who mourned didn’t have faith or hope to believe a miracle could happen. They didn’t believe Jesus had the power to raise her from the dead. After these things happened everyone heard about it! The father of this child didn’t accept the face value of the situation. He didn’t give up even after she died. Instead, he pursued Jesus, the One who can do something about it.
Luke 7:11-16 says:
11 Now it happened, the day after, that He went into a city called Nain; and many of His disciples went with Him and a large crowd. 12 And when He came near the gate of the city, behold, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother; and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the city was with her. 13 When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” 14 Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” 15 So he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother. 16 Then fear came upon all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has risen up among us”; and, “God has visited His people.
Jesus came to Nain when a funeral was in process. He saw the mother of the dead man and had compassion on her. He told her, “Do not weep.” Then, He touched the open coffin and said, “Young man, I say to you arise.” The dead man in the coffin, sat up and began to speak! Jesus presents this man to his mother. The result was “they glorified God.” In this story, no one sought Jesus. No one came looking for help. They accepted the man’s death and were too deep in the grieving process to look up. But Jesus saw and had compassion. Jesus raised this woman’s only son from death to life.
The third example is located in John 11.
This example is longer than the other two examples. So I’ll paraphrase it for you. (Read the whole thing at John 11:1-43.)
Jesus’ friend Lazarus was sick. Martha and Mary sent a message to Jesus to come and heal him. Jesus says this sickness won’t end in death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it. Jesus waited two more days before heading to Bethanny. By the time He arrived Lazarus had been dead for four days. Jesus knows Lazarus is dead already in verse 14. He shares one of the purposes in v15 “that you may believe.” V21 Martha was first to meet Jesus. “If you had been here my brother wouldn’t have died,” she whined to Jesus. But interestingly Martha says, “but even now I know whatever You ask of God, God will give You.”
What’s that a glimmer of hope? A mustard seed of faith maybe?
V23 Jesus says “Your brother will rise again.” Martha doesn’t know what Jesus is about to do. She replies, “Yes, I know he’ll rise in the resurrection.” Jesus says, “ I am the resurrection and the life.” He leads Martha to the place of belief. Martha leaves and now it’s Mary’s turn. Mary, the one who sat at Jesus’ feet, stayed at home and didn’t come to Jesus with Martha. She was probably stuck in grief, anger, or disbelief. Martha comes in and tells Mary, “The Teacher is calling you.” (I’m not sure but this might have been a little sisterly jab at Mary.) When Mary comes to Jesus sell fell at His feet whining just like Martha did. “If You had been here my brother wouldn’t have died.” Jesus asked her “Where have you laid him?” Jesus wept.
Some folks said, “Couldn’t he who opened the eyes of the blind kept this man from dying?” These are the doubters. Jesus is groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. “Take away the stone.” Martha says it’s going to smell he’s been dead for four days! Jesus reminds Martha what He said to her about seeing the glory of God. Jesus prayed out loud for all the hear. He said, “Lazarus come forth!” Lazarus, once dead, now hops out of the tomb wrapped in the grave-clothes. Jesus hollers “Loose him and let him go.”
In this example we see Martha, and Mary call for Jesus. But Jesus delays in coming to them. Jesus is about to teach them something more of Himself. There was a greater good to be revealed.
What do we learn from this story?
Not all delays are bad. Sometimes delay may mean greater good to come. As was the case with Lazarus.
Jesus is the resurrection and the life. There is no life with Jesus Christ. He gives life. He is the resurrection.
In the last example of raising someone from death, we’re going to look at Jesus.
In all four gospels, we see Jesus predicted His death and resurrection multiple times.
Matthew 20:18-19 says:
18 “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death, 19 and deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to crucify. And the third day He will rise again.”
Mark 9:30-32 says:
30 Then they departed from there and passed through Galilee, and He did not want anyone to know it. 31 For He taught His disciples and said to them, “The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. And after He is killed, He will rise the third day.” 32 But they did not understand this saying, and were afraid to ask Him.
Luke 18:31-14 says:
31 Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man will be accomplished.
John 16:16 says:
“A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me, because I go to the Father.”
Jesus clearly tells his disciples He will be killed and rise again. Jesus knows this is what He came for. He tries to tell his disciples all that will happen but they don’t get it. They can’t understand it.
Then Jesus is crucified just as He said would happen. See the following verses:
- John 19:17
- Luke 23:26
- Mark 15:24
- Matthew 27:35, 45, 57
Then Jesus is the resurrection. Again, just as He predicted all along! See the following chapters:
Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 20.
Everything happened exactly like Jesus said it would. From the mock trials, false accusations, beatings, crucifixion, death, burial, and rising again.
What was the whole purpose?
To save mankind. To give life to those who walked in the darkness. To set the captives free. To heal the sick. To give sight to the blind. He died to make us live!
In each example of the dead being raised we learn more about Jesus.
- Jesus is worthy of worship.
- He is who He said He is.
- Hope in Jesus doesn’t disappoint.
- Jesus sees our pain and will bring good out of it.
- Jesus knows what’s best for us.
- Jesus is the resurrection.
What do we learn about us?
- We need to come to Jesus.
- We need to worship Him.
- We need to believe Him.
- We need to hope in Jesus.
- We need to trust Him.
Father God, may we believe you. You are worthy of all praise. You are our hope. Thank you for saving us and being trustworthy to forgive our sins and give us life eternal. In Jesus’ name Amen.