JAIRUS' DAUGHTER RAISED FROM THE DEAD The verses we have now read, contain one of the three great instances which the Holy Spirit has thought fit to record of our Lord restoring a dead person to life. The other two instances are those of Lazarus and the widow's son at Nain. There seems no reason to doubt that our Lord raised others beside these three. But these three cases are specially described as patterns of His almighty power. One was a young girl, who had just breathed her last. One was a young man, who was being carried to his burial. One was a man, who had already lain four days in the grave. In all three cases alike we see life at once restored at Christ's command. Let us notice, in the verses before us, how universal is the dominion which death holds over the sons of men. We see him coming to a rich man's house, and tearing from him the desire of his eyes with a stroke. "There came one from the ruler of the synagogue's house, saying to him, Your daughter is dead." Such tidings as these are the bitterest cups which we have to drink in this world. Nothing cuts so deeply into man's heart as to part with beloved ones, and lay them in the grave. Few griefs are so crushing and heavy as the grief of a parent over an only child. Death is indeed a cruel enemy! He makes no distinction in his attacks. He comes to the rich man's hall, as well as to the poor man's cottage. He does not spare the young, the strong, and the beautiful, any more than the old, the infirm, and the grey-haired. Not all the gold of Australia, nor all the skill of doctors, can keep the hand of death from our bodies, in the day of his power. When the appointed hour comes, and God permits him to smite, our worldly schemes must be broken off, and our darlings must be taken away and buried out of our sight. These thoughts are melancholy, and few like to hear of them. The subject of death is one that men blink, and refuse to look at. "All men think all men mortal but themselves." But why should we treat this great reality in this way? Why should we not rather look the subject of death in the face, in order that when our turn comes we may be prepared to die? Death will come to our houses, whether we like it or not. Death will take each of us away, despite our dislike to hearing about it. Surely it is the part of a wise man to get ready for this great change. Why should we not be ready? There is one who can deliver us from the fear of death. (Heb. 2:15.) Christ has overcome death, and "brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel." (2 Tim. 1:10.) He that believes on Him has everlasting life, and though he were dead yet shall he live. (John 6:47; 11:25.) Let us believe in the Lord Jesus, and then death will lose his sting. We shall then be able to say with Paul, "To me to die is gain." (Phil. 1:21.) Let us notice, secondly, in the verses before us, that faith in Christ's love and power is the best remedy in time of trouble. We are told that when Jesus heard the tidings, that the ruler's daughter was dead, He said to him, "Fear not, believe only, and she shall be made whole." These words, no doubt, were spoken with immediate reference to the miracle our Lord was going to perform. But we need not doubt that they were also meant for the perpetual benefit of the Church of Christ. They were meant to reveal to us the grand secret of comfort in the hour of need. That secret is to exercise faith, to fall back on the thought of Christ's loving heart and mighty hand--in one word, to believe. Let a petition for more faith form a part of all our daily prayers. As ever we would have peace, and calmness, and quietness of spirit, let us often say, "Lord, increase our faith." A hundred painful things may happen to us every week in this evil world, of which our poor weak minds cannot see the reason. Without faith we shall be constantly disturbed and cast down. Nothing will make us cheerful and tranquil but an abiding sense of Christ's love, Christ's wisdom, Christ's care over us, and Christ's providential management of all our affairs. Faith will not sink under the weight of evil tidings. (Psalm. 112:7.) Faith can sit still and wait for better times. Faith can see light even in the darkest hour, and a needs-be for the heaviest trial. Faith can find room to build Ebenezers under any circumstances, and can sing songs in the night in any condition. "He that believes shall not make haste." "You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is staid on you." (Isa. 28:16; 26:3.) Once more let the lesson be engraved on our minds. If we would travel comfortably through this world, we must "believe." Let us notice, finally, in these verses, the almighty power which our Lord Jesus Christ possesses even over death. We are told that He came to the house of Jairus and turned the mourning into joy. He took by the hand the breathless body of the ruler's daughter, "and called saying, My child, arise." At once by that all-powerful voice life was restored. "Her spirit came again, and she arose immediately." Let us take comfort in the thought that there is a limit to death's power. The king of terrors is very strong. How many generations he has mowed down and swept into the dust! How many of the wise and strong, and fair, he has swallowed down and snatched away in their prime! How many victories he has won, and how often he has written "vanity of vanities," on the pride of man! Patriarchs, and kings, and prophets, and apostles, have all in turn been obliged to yield to him. They have all died. But thanks be unto God, there is one stronger than death. There is one who has said, "O death! will be your plague--O grave! will be your destruction!" (Hosea 13:14.) That One is the Friend of sinners, Christ Jesus the Lord. He proved His power frequently when He came to the earth the first time, in the house of Jairus, by the tomb of Bethany, in the gate of Nain. He will prove to all the world when He comes again. "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." (1 Cor. 15:26.) "The earth shall cast out the dead." (Isa. 26:19.) Let us leave the passage with the consoling thought, that the things which happened in Jairus' house are a type of good things to come. The hour comes and will soon be here, when the voice of Christ shall call all His people from their graves, and gather them together to part no more. Believing husbands shall once more see believing wives. Believing parents shall once more see believing children. Christ shall unite the whole family in the great home in heaven, and all tears shall be wiped from all eyes.
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