We thought a little last Sunday morning about Jesus’ words in regard to Jairus’ daughter – “The girl is not dead but asleep” (Matthew 9v24). He certainly didn’t mean that she was in a coma – the crowd knew she was dead and laughed mockingly at Jesus. But if we substitute “dead” for “asleep”, what Jesus said makes little sense – “The girl is not dead but dead.” What, then, did He mean?
We concluded that Jesus was meaning that the girl’s death was temporary and that He was on His way to awaken her from it, just as we wake up from sleep. Her death was an illustration of what each Christian looks forward to, unless the Lord returns beforehand. When we die our bodies, as it were, sleep, whilst our souls immediately go to be with the Lord in heaven (Luke 23v43; 2 Corinthians 5v8). When the Lord returns our bodies will be awakened and transformed, our souls will be reunited with our new bodies and we will live forever in the new heaven and new earth (1 Corinthians 15v51-54; 1 Thessalonians 4v13-18).
Jesus, therefore, could say to Martha at Lazarus’ graveside “whoever lives and believes in Me will never die” (John 11v26) – our souls will never be separated from God (which is the true death) and our bodies will one day be raised. Thus Paul could write with glorious confidence “I am convinced that neither death nor life …. will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8v38,39). The key question is, therefore, as Jesus posed to Martha “Do you believe this?”
Peace and Grace