The Resurrection at Nain

Bible Book: Luke  7 : 11-17
Subject: Resurrection; Power of Jesus; Life in Jesus
Series: Resurrection Scenes from the Ministry of Jesus

Introduction

Your Bibles are open to Luke chapter 7. … It’s on my heart tonight to talk about one of the Resurrection Scenes of the Bible where someone who has died was raised from death. And one of the challenges of preaching on such a subject is that it is difficult to find illustrative stories that relate to that subject. I don’t know about you, but I’ve not seen any headlines in the Daily Tribune lately that said, “Dead Man Comes Back To Life.” I have come across a few news items, however, that would be somewhat relevant to this subject. And I want to begin tonight by sharing this news item from back in February of this year…

 

Walter Williams, age 78, of Lexington, Mississippi was pronounced dead by the local coroner there at 9 p.m. on Wednesday, February 26th, 2014. Mr. Williams’ nephew, Eddie Hester said the coroner “pronounced him dead. … (And he said) I stood there and watched them put him in a body bag and zip it up. (They) took him, put him in the hearse, and they left.” Williams was then taken to Porter and Sons Funeral Home. They were getting ready to embalm him. … And that’s when he started kicking inside the body bag. The funeral home manager Byron Porter later said this was the first time he’d ever seen anything like it. Mr. Porter said, “Long story short … he was not dead.” He was literally alive and kicking. (I would love to have seen that.) When news reporters talked to the Holmes County Coroner, Dexter Howard, on that Thursday, they asked him: ‘How did this happen?’ He said it was a miracle. The coroner (who is an elected official and not a medical doctor) also said it’s possible that Mr. Williams’ pacemaker shut down and then started up again. Mr. Williams was rushed to a nearby hospital where the family was called in. (Imagine getting that call!) Mr. Williams’ daughter, Martha Lewis said it “Seemed like he (just) had more life in him.” The nephew, Eddie Hester said, “It’s a miracle. It’s just God. And I thank Him for it.”

Walter Williams was a lifelong farmer and father of 11, and he had recently been under hospice care for congestive heart failure. Regrettably, after this experience, he only lived another two weeks before he actually died. This time when he was interviewed, Mr. Williams’ nephew Eddie Hester said, “I think he’s [really] gone this time.” http://www.wbtw.com/story/24851038/man-pronounced-dead-in-body-bag-comes-back-alive-at-funeral-homehttp://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2014/02/28/miss-man-declared-dead-wakes-up-in-body-bag/http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/13/man-dead-body-bag-alive-mississippi

That would be some experience, wouldn’t it? I guess if you’ve been pronounced dead and they’re getting ready to embalm you, it would qualify as a “near death” experience. But as we read God’s Word, we find several instances where there was not just the assumption of death but the actuality of death.

In fact, as far as I can tell, there are nine particular situations in the scripture (including the resurrection of Jesus Himself) when an individual who had actually died was resurrected from a state of death.

In the time of the prophets, there were at least three individuals who were raised from a state of death.

There was the resurrection of a widow’s son that took place at Zarephath in 1 Kings 17 during the ministry of Elijah.

There was the resurrection of a son that took place at Shunem in 2 Kings 4 during the ministry of Elisha.

There was the resurrection of a soldier that took place at Elisha’s grave in Samaria in 2 Kings 13.

Then of course, there was the resurrection of Jesus Himself at Jerusalem.

Then in the time of the apostles, there were at least two individuals who were raised from a state of death.

In Acts 9, in a place called Joppa, a woman named Tabitha was raised from the dead through the ministry of Simon Peter.

There was the resurrection of Eutychus at Troas in Acts 20 during Paul’s visit there.

Then during the earthly ministry of Jesus, we have the record of three individuals that were raised by Jesus from a state of death including (1) a widow’s son at Nain, (2) Jairus’ daughter at Capernaum, and (3) Lazarus at Bethany.

I’m interested in these real events that took place, that are recorded for us in the scripture. And I’m interested in them because of the magnitude of these miracles. (I mean, it’s one thing to miraculously overcome disease, but to miraculously overcome death just raises the bar so much higher.) But it’s not just the magnitude of these miracles; I’m also interested in them because of the meaning of these miracles. These miracles show us that the Lord has power over death, which means that He can save and REGENERATE those who are “dead in trespasses and sin” (Eph. 2:1). And it means that He can REVIVE, which literally means to restore life.

It’s on my heart for this service to look at the first of the three Resurrection Scenes that took place during the time of Christ. As far as I can tell, this was the first time someone was raised from death in the chronological sequence of Jesus’ ministry.

And this situation is only recorded here in Luke chapter 7. Just as Elijah had raised a widow’s son from death in the Old Testament, Jesus raised a widow’s son from death in the New Testament. And it took place in a Galilean village about 6 or 7 miles southeast of Nazareth, in a little place called Nain. So I’m speaking to you tonight about…

“The Resurrection at Nain”

There are a few possible meanings of the name of this place, “Nain,” including “beauty” or “pleasantness” or “delightful.” But because of the death of this son, the beauty had faded in the heart of this mother. The place that had once been so delightful and pleasant for this little family had instantly become very unpleasant. Death had taken hold of this young man who had perhaps been at one time a picture of health. Decay and corruption was now working in his lifeless body as they carried him out towards the cemetery.

But friends, Jesus is coming to town! And this instance would begin a pattern in Jesus’ ministry of Him breaking up every funeral that He ever attended. (You’ve heard of a wedding crasher? Jesus was a funeral crasher.)

Warren Wiersbe said…

Nain was about twenty-five miles from Capernaum (where Jesus had been), a good day’s journey away, yet Jesus went there even though He was not requested to come. Since the Jews buried their dead the same day, it is likely that Jesus and His disciples arrived at the city gate late in the afternoon of the day the boy died.

Wiersbe said that on that special day at Nain…

Two only sons met. One was alive but destined to die, the other dead but destined to live.

As we look today at this wonderful scene at Nain…

I. Let’s Notice the Detailed Aspects of This Account

(Luke 7:11–12)

There were critics, even in that day who would have denied that such a miracle actually took place; that someone was actually raised from death. But the DETAILED ASPECTS that are given in this passage relate mainly to the audience of this miracle and those who witnessed it. As the great commentator Matthew Henry reminded us, this miracle was…

… As well attested as can be, for it was done in the sight of two crowds that met in or near the gate of the city. There was a crowd of disciples and other people attending Christ (v. 11), and a crowd of relations and neighbors attending the funeral of the young man (v. 12). Thus, there was a sufficient number to attest the truth of this miracle.

And the first detail that we notice is that there was…

A. A Crowd That Was Following After the Christ

(Luke 7:11) And it came to pass the day after, that He went into a city called Nain; and many of His disciples went with Him, and much people.

1. Notice the Path of Jesus

The Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary says…

And it came to pass the day after (that is, the day after He had healed the centurion’s servant at Capernaum – in the preceding verses), that He went into a city called Nain – a small village not elsewhere mentioned in Scripture, and only this once probably visited by our Lord: it lay a little to the south of mount Tabor, about twelve miles from Capernaum.

And many of his disciples went with him, and much people, [‎ochlos ‎‎polus‎] – ‘a great multitude.’

Ivor Powell wrote that…

Much criticism has been directed toward this miracle because none of the other Gospels makes any reference to this event. This is the only time that Christ is said to have entered the city, and whilst there may have been other occasions, it is nevertheless noteworthy that no reference has been made to any other visit. If this were indeed the one and only visit made to Nain, it is of great significance that He arrived at the right moment.

2. Notice the People with Jesus

We are told that “many of His disciples went with Him, and much people.”

disciple – Greek 3101. mathetes, math-ay-tes'; from G3129; a learner, i.e. pupil:--disciple.

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon says of this word “much” (NT:4183 – polus) that it is…

Used of a multitude (and it has the idea of) many, numerous, abundant, and plenteous

people – Greek 3793. ochlos, okh'-los; from a der. of G2192 (mean. a vehicle); a throng (as borne along); by impl. the rabble; by extens. a class of people; fig. a riot:--company, multitude, number (of people), people, press.

The “disciples” were those who followed Jesus and learned from Him, and there was a large group with Him that day. The Bible further says that there was “much people” following Him that day too. So in addition to the large group of disciples, there was a big crowd of other people in this procession following Jesus.)

We see that there was A Crowd That Was Following after the Christ. The second detail that we see is that there was…

B. A Crowd That Was Following after the Corpse

(Luke 7:12) Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her.

Notice immediately the affecting words, that Jesus “came nigh.” Thank God when He comes nigh and when He passes by!

The use of the word “behold” in verse 12 draws our attention to this “dead man.” When the Bible tells us that this dead man was “the only son of his mother, and she was a widow,” it is a statement that is full of both simplicity and great sorrow. As we see this grieving mother and the funeral procession …

1. We Notice the DOWNWARD PATH

In one Bible geography resource called “The Land and the Book” published in 1859, Dr. William McClure Thomson wrote that the village called Nain was on a northern slope of one of the mountain ridges in Galilee. And archaeological evidence shows that Nain would have had one entrance that would have led out of the village opening onto the rough hillside in a downward slope toward the plains below. Thomson said…

It must have been in this steep descent (that) they ‘carried out the dead man.’ … “It is in striking accord with the one Biblical incident in the history of Nain … that about the only remains (from) antiquity are tombs. These are cut in the rock, and are situated on the hillside to the east of the village.”

Based on that geographical glimpse of Nain, as the funeral procession was going out of the city towards the tombs, they were going downhill. But when things were going downhill for this grieving mother, Jesus met her coming up the hill!

2. We Also Notice the DOWNHEARTED PEOPLE

It wasn’t just the mother going down the hill, following the dead body of her son. The Bible says that there was “much people of the city with her.” Craig Keener explains that…

People customarily dropped whatever they were doing and joined in a funeral procession when it passed by. For a widow’s only son to die before she did was considered extremely tragic; it also left her dependent on public charity for support unless she had other relatives of means. (From the IVP Bible Background Commentary)

So here are the details of this scene. (As one writer said, you’ve got…)

Francois Bovon, in his commentary on Luke, calls the encounter at the gate at Nain “a meeting between a parade of life (Jesus and His disciples) and a parade of death (the dead man, his mother, and the grieving crowd).”

Most of the places that I’ve lived, when a funeral procession goes by on the road, you pull off to the side of the road till the entire procession passes by. But Rev. Jon Walton, senior pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in the city of New York said that…

Somewhere in the Talmud … there’s a provision to the effect that when a funeral procession and a wedding procession happen to come to an intersection at the same time, the wedding procession has the right of way – because life always has the right of way over death.

(Both Francois Bovon’s quote and Walton’s quote are from a sermon preached by Jon M. Walton on June 6, 2010)

You’ve got one crowd coming up the hill, following after life, and you’ve got another crowd coming down the hill, following after death. And the two met on the road leading out of Nain towards the graveyard. This two-fold grouping aptly describes the course of all of humanity. You have some who are following after Jesus and life. But there are those who are following after the ways of sin and death, and their path is leading them straight out to the graveyard. And there will be no change unless they have an encounter with Jesus along the way.

We’ve noticed the Detailed Aspects of this account. Now…

II. Let’s Notice the Divine Alteration of This Account

(Luke 7:13–15)

A. We See the Lord’s Merciful Ways – and how He Altered Despair

(Luke 7:13) And when the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.

1. This Is A Scene of THE MOTHER’S GRIEF

The son’s body was carried on what is called in verse 14, a “bier.” It was basically a slab or a funeral pallet. Again, the Presbyterian pastor Jon Walton said that this bier…

… Was held up on the shoulders of his friends. And his mother was walking behind the casket, shrouded in black, overwhelmed by grief, overtaken by sadness. (Walton said) They shriek and wail at funerals in places like Nain. They are not afraid of crying out loud. (Rev. Walton said that he…) learned in Clinical Pastoral Education many years ago that people in different ethnic and social groups show grief differently. White Protestants hold it in. Palestinians let it out. So … the widow’s cries and wails were (probably) heard above the voice of all the others, her tears more profuse as well.

The great Welsh preacher Ivor Powell (quoting Frederic Godet) said…

“The Prince of Life (had a) meeting the victim of death.” … This was the second time (this woman) had been bereaved (being a widow); now, she was alone in an empty world! That she was accompanied by much people, suggests she was either a very well-known citizen, or news of her loss had awakened a great sense of sympathy throughout the city.

But better still, it awakened a sense of sympathy in the only One who could do something about it. →

2. And So This Is Also A Scene of THE MASTER’S GRACE

As Ivor Powell said…

There is evidence to support the assertion that Christ came specially to meet that funeral. Climatic conditions in Palestine made it imperative that bodies be interred soon after death took place. Therefore there would not have been time for any message to summon Christ from Capernaum, eighteen miles away. (But) Jesus had commenced the journey to Nain even before the boy died. … And if Christ could see her, even when she was out of sight—cannot He see us?

Craig Keener said…

According to custom the bereaved mother would walk in front of the bier, so Jesus would meet her first. Philosophers often tried to console the bereaved by saying, “Do not grieve, for it will do no good.” Jesus’ approach is entirely different: He removes the cause of bereavement. (IVP Bible Background Commentary)

And the Bible says, “He had compassion on her,” and He said, “Weep not” (Luke 7:13).

had compassion – Greek 4697. splagchnizomai, splangkh-nid'-zom-ahee; mid. from G4698; to have the bowels yearn ‎(as Marvin Vincent says, “the nobler entrails, regarded as the seat of the affections”), i.e. (fig.) feel sympathy, to pity:--have (be moved with) compassion.

From the depths of His heart, He felt sympathy and pity for her. He was moved with compassion. He entered into her pain and felt it with her. ‘We have a high priest who can be touched with the feelings of our infirmities’ (cf. Hebrews 4:15).

weep – Greek 2799. klaio, klah'-yo; of uncert. affin.; to sob, i.e. wail aloud (whereas G1145 is rather to cry silently):--bewail. weep.

He told her, “Weep not!” ‘Stop sobbing. Stop wailing.’

His words are evidence of His Merciful Ways and how it was His intention to Alter her Despair. But further…

B. We See the Lord’s Miraculous Work – and how He Altered Death

(Luke 7:14-15) And He came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And He said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. {15} And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And He delivered him to his mother.

Ivor Powell continues…

The Jews did not enclose a corpse in a casket or coffin; (but) they placed the forms of their loved ones on a plank that had raised edges to prevent the body rolling off. Thus in this funeral at Nain, the young man’s body was clearly visible. Seeing the sorrow of the mother, the Lord stepped across to the men who were carrying the corpse to the burial grounds, and commanded them to stand still. His mighty power challenged death, and emerged from the contest victoriously.

In this dramatic moment…

1. Jesus Made a CONNECTION

He “touched the bier” (vs. 14).

touched – Greek 680. haptomai, hap'-tom-ahee; reflex. of G681; prop. to attach oneself to [something], i.e. to touch (in many implied relations):--touch.

So He essentially attached himself to this point of need. He reached out and made contact with the funeral pallet that they carried.

Again, Rev. Jon Walton said…

The word in Greek for “touch,” is much more than that (a simple touch). The phrase means that He grabbed the casket and stopped its forward movement. Jesus is taking charge here, and when that happens, anything can happen.

In this dramatic moment, Jesus not only made a CONNECTION. But…

2. Jesus Made a COMMAND

He said, “Young man, I say unto thee, Arise” (vs. 14)!

arise – Greek 1453. egeiro, eg-i'-ro; prob. akin to the base of G58 (through the idea of collecting one's faculties); to waken (trans. or intrans.), i.e. rouse (lit. from sleep, from sitting or lying, from disease, from death; or fig. from obscurity, inactivity, ruins, nonexistence):--awake, lift (up), raise (again, up), rear up, (a-) rise (again, up), stand, take up.

Keep in mind that this is the first resurrection scene of the New Testament. There has not yet been a resurrection of Jairus’ daughter at Capernaum. There has not yet been a resurrection of Lazarus at Bethany. So when Jesus began to speak to the corpse, the crowd must have either thought that he was overly sentimental towards someone that He didn’t even know, or they must have thought that Jesus was crazy.

And yet, Jesus said to this dead son, ‘Be raised!’ ‘Get up!’ And having issued His command, He made a change!

Though the two events were separated by some 900 years, just as the widow’s son at Zarephath was raised by Elijah in 1 Kings 17, the Bible says of this widow’s son at Nain that…

… He that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And He delivered him to his mother. (Luke 7:15)

Again, I refer to the late Ivor Powell who said…

It was all over, and everybody was gasping. Jesus had ruined a funeral; the hired musicians might never be paid for a job fully completed! People were beginning to run toward the gate for already even from yards away they could see the corpse sitting upon the bier. The funeral bandages must be removed; Jesus probably superintended the task; then gracefully He extended a hand to lift the youth to his feet. When all had been accomplished, the Lord turned toward the mother and with indescribable charm, gave the son back into her arms. What a reunion!

It is said that dead men tell no tales. But the one that had been dead did. He started talking. He “began to speak” (vs. 15). What should happen when someone is brought spiritually from death to life? They should start talking about it! Jesus has changed us. He is the One (as Paul said)…

(Colossians 1:13) Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son:

The great missionary, Amy Carmichael, who first landed in India on November 9th, 1895 (119 years ago today), wrote these words: “It is by what He conquers that Christ’s power is to be discovered.” Here at Nain, Jesus had conquered the great enemy called DEATH.

Jesus altered the course that they were on! I’m reminded of…

A story told of a pastor who was officiating at a funeral. When he was done, he was asked to lead the funeral procession as it made its way to the cemetery. So he got into his car, and he started driving at the head of the funeral procession. He turned on his radio and became preoccupied, lost in thought; he forgot where he was going. About that time, he passed a K-Mart and thought about something he needed to pick up. So he turned into the parking lot. As he was looking for a parking space, he just happened to glance into the rear-view mirror — and saw the long string of cars with their lights on, all following the hearse which was following him!

(He changed the course that the funeral procession was on.) Jesus did too!

We’ve noticed the Detailed Aspects of this account. And we’ve notice the Divine Alteration of this account. Now…

III. Let’s Notice the Delightful Aftermath of This Account

(Luke 7:16–17)

A. The Bible Tells Us That After This Situation, A Reverence Was Shown

(Luke 7:16) And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people.

1. There Was a SENSE of AWE and TERROR

(Luke 7:16) And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people.

fear – Greek 5401. phobos, fob'-os; from a prim. phebomai (to be put in fear); alarm or fright:--be afraid, + exceedingly, fear, terror.

When the Bible says, “there came a fear on all,” it means that they were suddenly seized by a sense of awe and terror. They were amazed and alarmed by what had happened.

Albert Barnes explained that when the Bible says “there came a fear on all,” it means that they had…

An “awe” or solemnity at the presence of One who had power to raise the dead, and at the miracle which had been performed. [And they “glorified God,” which means that they] “praised or honored God that He had sent such a prophet.”

2. There Was a SHARING of ADMIRATION and TESTIMONY

(Luke 7:16) And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people.

glorified – Greek 1392. doxazo; to render (or esteem) glorious (in a wide application):--(make) glorify (-ious), full of (have) glory, honour, magnify.

The 19th century preacher, J. C. Ryle said…

This expression (indicates) that this was the first instance of a dead person being restored to life by our Lord, during His ministry on earth. (And) In this mighty miracle (is) a lively emblem of Christ’s power to quicken the dead in sins. In Him is life. He quickeneth whom He will. He can raise to a new life souls that now seem dead in worldliness and sin. He can say to hearts that now appear corrupt and lifeless, “Arise to repentance, and live to the service of God.” Let us never despair of any soul. Let us pray for our children, and faint not. Our young men and our young women may long seem travelling on the way to ruin. But let us pray on. Who can tell, but He that met the funeral in the gates of Nain may yet meet our unconverted children, and say with almighty power, “Young man, arise.” With Christ nothing is impossible.

Is it any wonder that a reverential fear took hold of all the people that were there that day? Is it any wonder that they glorified God? How awe-inspiring it is when we realize that God has visited His people!

visited – Greek 1980. episkeptomai; to inspect, i.e. (by impl.) to select; by extens. to go to see, relieve:--look out.

The people who witnessed the awesome miracle at Nain that day wanted to give honor and glory to God and magnify Him and lift Him up because He had come to visit His people in a gracious way and become acquainted with them.

After the young man was raised from death, A Reverence Was Shown. And then…

B. The Bible Tells Us That After This Situation, A Rumor Was Spread

(Luke 7:17) And this rumour of Him went forth throughout all Judaea, and throughout all the region round about.

1. Consider the SUBJECT of this Rumor

The book of James teaches us about the danger of spreading rumors. But that which is mentioned here is a wonderful thing. The word “rumour” is the Greek word logos, and in this context it has the idea of a topic or subject of discourse. This is what everybody was talking about “throughout all Judaea, and throughout all the region round about”! This is what was on their minds and in their mouths. Jesus and His miracle was the subject of conversation.

rumour – Greek 3056. logos, log'-os; from G3004; something said (including the thought); by impl. a topic (subject of discourse), also reasoning (the mental faculty); by extens. a computation:--account, cause, communication, fame, matter, mouth, speech, talk.

Jesus was the topic of discourse, and they were trying to figure Him out. They were communicating about Him.

There were a lot of people on both sides that day that saw what happened, and therefore could have become witnesses and spreaders of this rumor. But my personal conclusion is that the ones who shared it as diligently as any were those pall-bearers, those that carried the funeral pallet; because they saw it up close and personal. They saw the Lord touch the bier and speak. They heard the young man when he started talking.

Those who have been personal witnesses of His life-giving power and who have experienced it in an ‘up close and personal’ way are the very ones who should be declaring Jesus.

2. Consider the SPREADING of this Rumor

(Luke 7:17) And this rumour of Him went forth throughout all Judaea, and throughout all the region round about.

A. B. Bruce said that Luke’s account tells us that the message of Jesus…

Went out; it would spread like wildfire, far and wide … in all Judaea. (Bruce said) Some think Judaea means here, not the province, but the whole of Palestine.

It certainly spread (as the verse says) “throughout all the region round about.” Talk about social media!

And the message of Jesus and His life-giving power should spread. We should, as the songwriter said…

Go, tell it on the mountain, Over the hills and everywhere

Go, tell it on the mountain, (Not only) That Jesus Christ is born.

But go tell that Jesus Christ is the Savior, and that others who are “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1) can have new life in Christ.

[Notice in the subsequent verses how the spread of this story helped John the Baptist who was then in prison (verses 18-22). The news of Jesus’ life-giving power encouraged this man who had served God but was now suffering in bondage and awaiting death. And the report of someone experiencing new life in Christ can encourage you too.]

Conclusion

Death is a reality of life. Every person in this room has probably been confronted by the death of someone we love; a family member or a friend.

But there are other things that bring grief and sorrow to our hearts…

Maybe you’ve had to bury some dream that died in your life.
Maybe you feel as if you’ve experienced the death of some job.
Maybe you’ve gone through a divorce, or experienced the painful end of a close friendship.
Maybe you feel like all hope of that son or daughter getting right with God has died.
The songwriter Edmund Lorenz asked the question: “Are you grieving over joys departed?” Maybe it feels like the vitality of your own spiritual experience has come to death’s door, so that in the truest sense of the word, you need “revival.”

In all of these things and so much more, we may feel like we’re following things that we care about out to the cemetery. And we wonder in the midst of that grief if anybody cares. We even wonder if Jesus cares.

That’s what Frank Graeff wondered back in 1901. Graeff was a Methodist preacher in the Philadelphia area, a man known for his cheerful disposition, so much so that he was nicknamed the “Sunshine Minister.” But as Robert J. Morgan wrote: “A Series of heartbreaks shattered his spirits, and Frank Graeff found himself in the unfamiliar valley of deep depression and despondency.” But finally the truth of 1 Peter 5:7 took hold of him, and he remembered that he could cast all of his care upon the Lord, “for He careth for you.”

Out of that experience, he wrote the series of questions beginning with this…

Does Jesus care when my heart is pained

Too deeply for mirth and song,

As the burdens press, and the cares distress,

And the way grows weary and long?

Does Jesus care? Well, the Bible tells us that when He saw that poor widow woman who had lost her son, “He had compassion on her” (Luke 7:13)

Here was Frank Graeff’s answer…

O yes, He cares! I know He cares.

His heart is touched with my grief.

When the days are weary, the long night dreary,

I know my Savior cares!

Do you need the Lord to resurrect joy in your life tonight; to resurrect some dream?

I can’t tell you that Jesus will resurrect that child or that beloved one who died tragically or unexpectedly or too soon. In fact, with almost definite assurance, I can tell you that the Lord won’t resurrect them.

But I can tell you, based on the authority of God’s Word, that He will love you through your grief.

Maybe there are some Mommas and Daddies who want to pray and ask Him to reach out and touch that son or that daughter who’s caused your heart to break.

Do you need a resurrection of joy or of hope tonight? Does your marriage need to be raised back to life. Jesus said that He is “the Resurrection and the Life” (John 11:25).

Perhaps you need a spiritual reviving in your life tonight as a child of God.

Or perhaps, dear friend, you are dead in sin. You’ve never known Jesus as your Savior. He can give you new life tonight. You can be saved and alive in Christ tonight!

Whatever you need to cry out to Him about this evening, I want to invite you to come to the altar in this time of invitation.