The Funeral Interrupter
Some refer to Christianity as too narrow and see Christians as judgmental, hypocritical and homophobic. My desire is they would know Jesus and understand that He is alive, at work in our lives and standing patiently ready to be in a life changing relationship with them. There are so many things about Jesus I want people to know. I heard one last week. Louie Giglio referred to Jesus as the Funeral Interrupter. I love this description and the more I’ve thought about Jesus as the Funeral Interrupter, the more true I realize this is. Imagine the scene in Luke 7:11-17. A large crowd is following Jesus, because they have seen Him perform miracles and they’re anticipating more. After 400 years of listening to what their grandpa told them their great-grandpa said about GOD, they were finally seeing evidence of The LORD with their own eyes. Excitement was building, along with the crowds, in every place Jesus and His disciples traveled. In this story, a large, loud crowd, most likely laughing, celebrating and filled with expectation comes bounding into the village of Nain, on the heels of Jesus and His followers. This noisy bunch runs head first into a somber, heavy, grieving funeral procession coming out of Nain to bury a widow’s only son. The sadness is palpable, the widow has lost her husband, now her only son and with him she has lost any ability to sustain herself. She’s broken and without hope.
In the midst of this wild celebration, Jesus sees her and He’s filled with compassion. He tells her not to cry, walks over, places His hand on to the coffin and tells her son to get up! The son does! And he immediately starts talking, saying who knows what to the people around him, who were holding his coffin and previously dead body. Then, some translations say fear seized them, mourners and Jesus’ wild crowd alike. The Message describes their reaction like this:
“They all realized they were in a place of holy mystery, that God was at work among them. They were quietly worshipful—and then noisily grateful, calling out among themselves, “God is back, looking to the needs of his people!” (Luke 7:16-17 MSG)
Holy Mystery! Read it again – they all realized there were in a place of HOLY MYSTERY, that GOD was at work among them. Um…WOW! For over 400 years – silence from GOD and now…GOD is at work among them! “GOD is back”! One crowd moved from wild and fun to quiet, then loud again. Another crowd went from somber, broken to quiet and worshipful, then to celebrate. In an instant, Jesus interrupted the funeral, demonstrates His power over death and everything changes. It’s incredible and He was completely worthy of their awe and worship; it was a place of Holy Mystery!
Flipping through the New Testament affirms Christ as the Funeral Interrupter. Most know the story of the little girl in Mark 5 and Lazarus in John 11. What about the lame man, lying by the pool in John 5, or the man born blind in John 9, or the woman caught in adultery in John 8 or Saul on the road to Damascus in Acts 9? Jesus steps into each of these situations replacing death with LIFE. He did it for me, in my bedroom as a scared 9th grade boy and He does it every place we take him.
We have an enemy who is a liar. Every thing the devil says is a lie, he will even be satisfied to convince you he and Jesus Christ are not real. Our enemy’s purpose is to destroy our lives, steal our joy and kill us (John 10:10). Maybe you’re like me and you’ve believed one of his lies. Have you noticed something in your life that started out to be fun has become a selfish habit? Maybe it’s something that causes such shame you feel you couldn’t dare share it with anyone. Friend, you are not alone. Everyone…all of us have sinned. The Good News is just like Jesus placed His hand on the coffin of this boy, He can save you from whatever your struggle might be. Let Jesus place His hand on the coffin of your habit, your secret or your very life. He will heal you and you will find rest, peace and joy unlike any you have experienced before. Jesus sees our funeral processions and He is filled with compassion.
“GOD did not send His Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.” (John 3:17 NLT)