One of the hardest days of my life was when my grandmother passed away. I remember kissing her goodbye the day before I left for a missions trip in Peru doing a double take as I walked away from her bedside. In that moment I tried hard to take a mental photograph of her smiling at my farwell cropping out the IVs and hospital bed around her. A week later I returned to kiss her cold hand as she lay in the funeral home on the same block where she lived, the same block we use to walk hand in hand through the streets of downtown Oradell. How I would have loved for Jesus to walk into the funeral home that day as I knelt by her casket my warm tears falling upon her hand. Oh to hear him say, "I say to you, get up!" what a glorious moment that would have been!
Jesus didn't raise my grandmother from her coffin like the boy in Luke 7 but he was with me and in my heart I felt the peace and comfort that could come only from him... I heard in the deep of my heart his voice saying, "Don't cry." Why would it be comforting, you might ask, for Jesus to say don't cry in a time when it is natural to grieve? It's comforting because unlike us, in our human nature, Jesus sees the supernatural. He knows the life after this one. He is the only one who has the authority to say, "Don't cry." Because in Him there is joy even in the depths of sorrow. In Him there is life that lasts eternally. Someday he will say to those who have passed "I say to you, get up!" and their bodies will rise up from the grave (not only their souls) and all the world will behold Jesus who's very heart goes out to sinners so much that He gave his life for their, for my ransom.