December 14, 2010

Jesus Came to Comfort

Mark 5:21-24, 35-43

He … said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.”
Mark 5:39


Jesus came to comfort those who mourn (Isaiah 61:2). But what a strange way to bring comfort to parents who had just lost a child—saying that she was not dead but asleep! Was Jesus adding to their sorrow by giving them false hope?

The Savior did come to bring comfort—and not with glib phrases or cheap answers or by quoting Scripture verses at inappropriate times. He wanted people to know that even though their loved ones were gone, they were not dead.

And he backed up his words with action: he brought the girl back to life. This miracle was Jesus’ way of showing that he came to conquer death. He wants us all to know that death does not have the last word.

Maybe you dread the celebration of Christmas because someone you love is gone. You simply can’t get past that empty place. Perhaps you will be celebrating with tears in your eyes and pain in your heart.

But, remember, the Lord Jesus has conquered death. And because of that, someday when he returns, the graves of all who have died will be opened and you will meet again. Because of his victory over death, you will be able to celebrate his birth in spite of your sorrow.

Lord God, thank you for your power over death and the grave. Be with those who mourn the loss of someone they have loved, and remind them in this season that you came to conquer death. Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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