Lord over life and death

While he was saying these things to them, behold, a ruler came in and knelt before him, saying, “My daughter has just died, but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live.” And Jesus rose and followed him, with his disciples. And when Jesus came to the ruler’s house and saw the flute players and the crowd making a commotion, he said, “Go away, for the girl is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. But when the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose. (Matthew 9:18-19, 23-25, ESV)

This amazing miracle by the Lord was a precursor to His raising of Lazarus, which was a precursor of His own rising from the grave.  Jesus’ raising people from the dead showed at least a few things about Himself.  It showed that He was the long-awaited Messiah, the Savior of Israel.  It showed that He was God Himself, able to give life.  And it showed that He was Lord over life and death.

He said about His own life, “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again” (John 10:18).  And as He was about to die, He “uttered a loud cry and breathed His last” (Mark 15:37).  Did you ever wonder why He did that?

Crucifixion was a brutal form of execution, one which the victim could survive for days.  The way the victim would die is suffocation.  He would run out of energy to push himself up against the nail in his feet and pull himself up with the nails in his hands, and he was so positioned that if he could not do so, he could not take in a breath.

Before Jesus died, He uttered a loud cry.  He didn’t die from suffocation.  He died because it was time, and He laid down His own life.

Three days later, He would take it up again.

Jesus was victorious over sin and death.  It is this Master of life that you must turn to and trust with your own life.


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