That which is powerful to render a person lifeless, that even the mention of it silences a noisy crowd and subdues a festive atmosphere: death.
Everyone’s inescapable end, death is dreaded by most. But we need not fear, because there is Someone who has the power over death: Jesus Christ.
Look at these three instances where death and Jesus met, and see what happened:
Jesus’ power over dead bodies. If Lazarus had been proclaimed dead for four minutes or, even, four hours, we could easily dismiss the miracle—maybe he just passed out, or maybe the medical person just missed his pulse. But Lazarus had been dead for four days. Already at this state, and yet, when Jesus called out—just called out—Lazarus did come out, with no lesions or lacerations or any sign of having been dead, at all.
Has a disease eaten up your body and sapped your strength? Have you been declared by the doctor to be beyond cure? Do you have a relative in a state of coma? Think of Lazarus. He was not just dying; he was already dead. But Jesus Christ was able to resurrect him. If He could do that, what else could He not do?
Jesus’ power over dead hopes. Imagine the situation of the widow of Nain who lost her only son. In a society where women’s worth depended on men, a wife who lost her husband was bound to live a life that was as good as dead—that is, if she did not have a son. So the widow of Nain did not just lose her only son, she also lost her only hope at societal redemption. Jesus knew that, and His heart went out to her, causing Him to raise the son back from the dead and the widow, back from desolation.
Are you in a situation where you feel that all hope is lost? A dream beyond reach, a business beyond recovery, a relationship beyond repair—whatever it is you are facing right now, think of the widow of Nain. She was at that point of helplessness when Jesus’ help came—and she didn’t even ask for it! So hold on, help is near.
Jesus’ power over dead souls. You would think of someone who resurrected Lazarus and the widow’s son to be a person invincible from death. But Jesus Christ died, literally. His death, though, was different: it was a death that lasted for only three days! Just as He resurrected Lazarus and the widow’s son, He Himself rose from the dead—yes, Jesus slayed death. As a result, all who would believe in Him would have life everlasting.
Are you afraid to face death? Think of Jesus. Not only has He experienced death, He conquered death! For you. For us. Because He wanted all of humankind to be able to face death with all certainty. Because He wanted all of humankind to live for all eternity, with Him.
In sum, in all three instances, whatever kind of death it may have been, Jesus won. Because He is the Giver of Life. He IS life.
“In him was life, and that life was the light of men.” (John 1:4)