Suffering knows neither time nor space. It is not unusual to find tragic incidents happening to individuals and families in the Bible. Luke chapter 7 records the story of a widow who lived in Nain. Nain is a town located not far from Jesus’ hometown, Nazareth. On that particular day, when Jesus and his disciples arrived at the town gates, they were met with a large funeral procession. It turned out that a widow had lost her only son.
In the agricultural society of that age, a woman’s livelihood depended on the men in her family. This woman was already a widow, and now she had lost her only son, her only hope in life. The Bible describes many people following Jesus in this particularly incident, and also many accompanying the widow and her dead son. So a group in a funeral procession, and a group following Jesus, met at the town gates.
When death meets the God who has power over life, it loses its footing.
Jesus saw the pitiful widow who had lost her only son, and his heart went out to her. He said to her, “Don’t cry.” (Luke 7:13). The Bible records many instances of Jesus’ response towards human suffering, and it is always with a heart full of compassion. Jesus went up to the bier, and spoke to the young man, “I say to you, get up.” (Luke 7:14). And the young man heard the command of Jesus and sat up. The crowd which had been mourning, now suddenly burst out in joy and shock. The young man was alive, and now hope was restored in this widow’s life.
But if the widow really believed that her son’s life was her hope and her everything, she would one day still be disappointed. Because even after experiencing this amazing miracle, the cruel reality of death is unavoidably imminent. God may give life, or he may take away life. What we need to do is to hold on to the God of life, only through Him we can find comfort in the midst of the pain and sorrow on earth.
Apostle Paul proclaimed in 1 Corinthians 15: 55-57 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks to God,who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Only life in Christ can conquer death, this life and the life thereafter.
Local Preacher of Wesley Methodist Church, Sibu