“As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out…When the Lord saw…his heart went out…Then he went up and touched the coffin, and those carrying it stood still. He said… ‘get up!’ The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother. They were all filled with awe and praised God” Luke 7:11-16.
This story has such a tender impact on my heart as I was that mother many years ago. When our daughter was caught up in heroin addiction she was living her life as if dead. She allowed the evil of drugs to entomb her and was carried around by its power. We sat by watching, praying, pleading and planning for the end. Our circumstances convinced us hope was gone and our hearts were preparing for the worst. But the Spirit stopped the evil processional and brought her back to life.
As my sister lay entombed in a body full of cancer, her fears and dashed dreams carried her to the end. How many times she must have laid there in the dark with an awareness of her life winding down?
In both circumstances, the Spirit of Truth went up and touched the coffins. One healed on earth and one healed in eternity…but both still live. There is only a fine veil between heaven and earth, with the two meeting as one someday, and don't you know that both sat up and began praising God.
All of us can find ourselves in spiritual coffins with troubling pallbearers: guilt, fear, anger, judgment, unforgiveness, status. When we allow the flesh to carry us around in life we miss out on Jesus. When the Spirit stops us in our tracks and touches our lives, we will be able to escape the confines of our coffin. He will provide a way for us to get up and walk in the Spirit instead of the flesh.
We cannot allow anything other than the healing hand of Christ to lead us on the journey home. ‘But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him’ 2 Co. 2:14.
Let us not be carried out by the flesh but be carried away in the Spirit.