The Power of Christ

The Power Over Death

Mark 5:21-43

“Do not be afraid any longer, only believe.”

 

            Jairus was as desperate as a father could be.  His young daughter (age 12) was facing a terminal illness.  What the illness was, we do not know. What we do know is that she was on the brink of death, and her father was desperate.  Jairus was a leader in the local synagogue, which functioned much like a small church.  While the Temple was the focal point of Jewish worship, local synagogues were places where people would receive instruction and teaching from the Old Testament law. Jairus was one of the individuals who served in the local synagogue.  He was part of the system that was opposing Jesus and saw Jesus as a false prophet.  However, his desperation and concern for his daughter caused him to overcome any reservations he might have had regarding Jesus.  The one thing he knew was that his daughter was dying, and Jesus was able to perform miracles.  Consequently, he came to Jesus with his desperate plea.

            We can only imagine his hope and joy when Jesus agreed to come, and they started to travel to his home.  In a hopeless situation, he had a glimmer of hope.  However, his hope was soon destroyed when news came that his daughter had died.  For someone to have the power over sickness seemed within the realm of possibility, but to have the control over death was impossible, for only God possessed such power.  Those who brought the news encouraged him to no longer trouble Jesus.  Hope was lost, and the only response now was to dismiss Jesus and prepare for the burial.  We can deal with adversity and intense trials as long as we have some degree of hope, but despair becomes overwhelming when all hope is dashed.

Amid this man's despair, Jesus speaks.  At first, Jesus’ words must have seemed senseless to Jairus as he tried to process the events in his life.  Believe in what or whom?  Death was final, with no hope of life.  The only hope one had in death was in the resurrection at the end of the age.  When Jesus arrived at Jairus’ house and informed the mourners that the child had not died but was asleep, their weeping turned to laughter; not the laughter of hope but the laughter of ridicule at the absurdity of Jesus’s statement.

            What they failed to recognize, and what we often struggle with in our own circumstances, is that hope is not found in the circumstances we face but in the God who stands behind the circumstances.  Christ provided hope for Jairus, a hope interwoven with faith that Christ was more than a religious teacher; he was more than just a miracle worker; he was God himself come in the flesh, for only God has the power over death.  In His actions, Jesus told the world that even death was under the control of His sovereign will.  Jesus’ supreme power overcomes death itself.  Jesus commands Jairus to keep believing and hold on to faith rather than surrender to hopelessness, for Jesus has the power to change everything.  What seems irreversible in our eyes is still reversible in the hands of God.  With Christ, all things are possible.  The question that confronts us is not whether God can alter our circumstances, but what is God’s purpose within the circumstances that confronts us?  Faith trusts that God’s purpose will be accomplished and that His purpose is perfect.  Therefore, we can have hope regardless of the situation.  With God, the outcome is always ideal, for it always accomplishes the good that God intends (Romans 8:28).  Faith does not just believe that God can still achieve the outcome we desire but that the result that he will accomplish is perfect and right.  When confronted with life’s adversity, faith raises our vision from the impossibility of the situation to the sovereign purpose of an all-powerful God who is orchestrating every event in our life to achieve his perfect purpose. 

             

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