Every single one that we know he attended, he ruined. Funerals…where people had gathered to pay their last respects…suddenly broken up upon his arrival. While teary-eyed, beloved friends and family dreamed of what could or would have been, he would show up and ruin the mood by changing the conversation to what is. Of course, he’d do it not with a lack of sympathy but by literally raising the dead person to life again!
It’s a great way to ruin a funeral!
Jesus did it at least three times that we know of as recorded in the inspired words of the Gospels. One of them happened in a small town called Nain where Jesus and his followers came across an actual funeral procession (minus the little orange flags, see Luke 7:11-17). The young man that had died was the only son of a woman who had already experienced the death of her husband. This was certainly a difficult day as this woman walked beside the remains of the only joy and support she had left in this world. In the culture of her day, as a childless widow, her life would likely have been reduced to begging on the streets for income. When Jesus saw her, “his heart went out to her and he said, ‘Don’t cry.’ Then he went up and touched the casket, and those carrying it stood still. He said, ‘Young man, I say to you, get up!’” And well, the funeral was ruined!!! Imagine the impact that would have on you!
(To read about the other recorded ruined funerals, turn to Luke 8:40-56 and John 11:1-45)
If you have ever attended a graveside funeral service with me, you know that this is my favorite thing to remind people of…that Jesus ruins funerals. That, my friends, is what Easter is all about. And of course, the ultimate proof and power of this comes through the fact that Jesus ruined his own funeral that he, as the Resurrection and the Life, might ruin yours too! And I’m praying that he does!