Lazarus had been in the grave for four days when Jesus miraculously raised him to life (John 11:38-44). The twelve-year-old daughter of Jairus was lifeless until Jesus reached down and took her by the hand (Mark 5:21-43). And, as the corpse of a young man was being carried out of the little village of Nain, Jesus appeared, reached into the open casket, and return the boy to his grieving, widowed mother (Luke 7:11-17). Jesus made dead people live again.
In the Old Testament, God revealed His omnipotence when Elijah raised the son of the widow of Zarephath (1 Kings 17:17-24) and again when Elisha raised the Shunamite’s son (2 Kings 4:18-37). God has the power to make dead things live again.
In the years following Jesus’ resurrection, God used Peter to raise a saintly woman named Tabitha from death (Acts 9:36-43). Later, toward the end of Paul’s third missionary journey, Paul stopped off at Troas, where he stayed for a week. There, God used Paul to raise Eutychus.
Let me be clear. There is nothing funny about somebody dying. But I’ve got to say... Although I’ve preached some really bad sermons, not one of them has ever killed someone. Yes, I’ve put plenty of folks to sleep... but nobody has ever died.
So, here’s the story. You can read it for yourself in Acts 20:7-16.
On Saturday night, after sundown, Paul began preaching. He got so wound up that he preached till midnight. When he said, “And finally...” there was some commotion from the back of the upstairs room. Eutychus, a young man, nodded off. That would have been fine. No harm – no fowl. However, poor Eutychus was sitting on the open windowsill. He fell asleep... and fell out the window. Thud... “dead” (Acts 20:9).
But that’s not the end of the story. Paul quickly realized what had happened and led a procession downstairs to where the dead body lay in the dirt. No hocus-pocus. No fancy slight of hands. Paul leaned over, took the boy in his arms, and God did what only God can do. God made the boy alive again.
I’ve never witnessed that. I’ve never seen a corpse stand up and do the jig!
But every Christian has experienced it. We were “dead in our trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1) when God “made us alive together with Christ” (Ephesians 2:5). That’s what happened the first time that we encountered the Living Christ! And that’s what happens every day as we walk with Him. In fact, “He came that we might have life in abundance” (John 10:10).
Jesus invites you to encounter His mercy, compassion, grace, and goodness today... and every day. Jesus makes dead people live again. When we encounter Jesus, everything changes.
(Originally published on 10/30/2020)