When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” (Luke 7:13)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Sometimes when we see someone crying about something, we don’t know what else to say. So we blurt out, “Don’t cry. It will be all right.” Maybe it will. Maybe it won’t. But we are uncomfortable and sometimes don’t know what else to say.
When Jesus steps up to the coffin coming out of the village of Nain, that’s what He tells the dead man’s mother. “Don’t weep.” Thanks, Jesus! A mother who has lost her husband has also lost her son. I’m sure she’ll appreciate that attempt at comfort.
But something’s different. When Jesus says not to weep, it’s more than just trying to say something nice. This is Jesus, the man who will die and rise from the dead. When Jesus says not to weep it’s because He knows death causes weeping and He is here to make death cry! Jesus stands as One who is about to rob death of this man. So he touches the coffin and tells the man to get up and gives him to his mother! Take that, death! In your face, death!
Jesus dies for our sins. Our sins brought death. So it should be no surprise that Jesus rises from the dead the Third Day. He’s gotten rid of our sins and that means death is not far behind. Jesus has given you victory over death.
That death happens the moment He touches your dead body in Holy Baptism and gives you to your Mother, the Church. At that washing of water and the Word, Jesus’ death and resurrection are yours. Now the only thing to wait for is when He raises you from the dead on the Last Day. But that’s the whole point: the death you will die in this life cannot keep you down. It can’t harm you. It can’t separate you from God; Jesus has kicked death in the face. And even though death can come for you, your Baptism kicks it in the face and promises that you have beaten death in Jesus and you will live on the Last Day and then forever! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
O Lord, we pray that Your grace may always go before and follow after us, that we may be continually given to all good works; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (Collect for Trinity 16)