Christ has compassion for our sorrow.

Christ has compassion for our sorrow.

Read Luke 7:11-17

"He felt compassion for her and said to her, 'Do not weep.'"

Nain was a small village located about 10 miles Southwest of the sea of Galilee. It was located on the opposite of the valley from Nazareth and was an unimportant small town, indicated by the fact that it was not one of the walled cities. It's only mentioned in the New Testament in this passage where its significance lies in the fact that this was the first occasion where Christ raised an individual from the dead. As Jesus is entering the city, he encounters a funeral possessional leaving the village and going to the place of burial.

While the initial focus is upon the funeral, the focus quickly shifts to the deceased's mother. This man's death is tragic because the mother has lost a son but reveals a more profound crisis for the woman, for she is also a widow. This is important for two reasons. First, it indicates that this woman had already faced sorrow and tragedy in her life. When and how her husband had died is not mentioned. However, this in no way diminishes the grief and suffering this woman had experienced already in her life. But even more significant is the second reason. When there was no government assistance, and in a period when the husband would be the sole source of livelihood, a widow would have been dependent upon another family member to care for her needs. Now, the widow faces an even greater trail, for the son, who was responsible for her care, is now also dead. He was her only son, and so now she would be facing the prospect of severe economic hardship, for she had no one who would be able and willing to care for her.

It would have been easy for Christ and his entourage to pass by quickly. There were demands of ministry; there were undoubtedly plans that were made. Waiting for the procession to pass would have been an inconvenience. But what others might have seen as an inconvenience, Christ looked beyond and saw a woman deeply grieving because of the losses she had experienced in life. She was heartbroken as she had lost the two individuals that were the most important to her.

While some would only give a casual glance as the woman and the procession passed, Christ was deeply moved. But he did more than just feel sorry for her; he was forced to act on her behalf. In an act that confounded those watching, Jesus walked over, touched the coffin, and then verbally gave life back to the young man. Her sorrow turned to joy, and the procession of mourning turned into a celebration of God.

Because we live in a fallen world, we face the reality of death and sorrow. We are reminded daily that we live with a death sentence upon us. Sin has ravished the world, destroying people and bringing death upon all. Yet, it is in our sorrow that Christ meets us to get the joy of life. He not only brought life to this young man, but he also brought life to all through his death and resurrection. When you feel the pain of sorrow and loss and tears of anguish flow in the night, remember Christ, for he remembers you. He cares about your grief, and he provided the hope of eternal life.

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