Beth Moore — Delivered from the Tomb
So we're in the gospel of Luke, chapter seven, verses 11-13 to begin with: Soon afterward he (this is Jesus) went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a great crowd went with him. As he drew near to the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and a considerable crowd from the town was with her. When the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, "Do not weep."
Now I want you to only go that far for now and let's see if we can find ourselves in this scene; as much as this scene may hurt, let's go here to see if we can get some ministry of Jesus into our hearts. Let's set the stage for what has happened here. Jesus is with a crowd of his own. They are coming into what is a very small town and as they come into the small town coming out of the gate is a funeral procession.
Now in those days, the person that is grieving would be esteemed or those grieving the most would be esteemed in such a way to be toward the front of the caravan of people closest to the body, of course. I want you to get the picture because these two crowds are going to converge around this one scene.
Now we don't know why Jesus is coming into Nain with his disciples, probably to get something to eat. They've been traveling, they've been walking, get some water, get something to eat, looking for the local answer to Chick-fil-A, whatever it might be in the city gate, and they come to this mourning, this scene of grief coming out of the city. They would have been going out of the city gates because, of course, that's where the dead would have been buried, not within the city but outside the city gates.
So here is this woman and she is grief-stricken. Before we ever get to the loss of her son, let's make sure we understand that she is a widow.
So I want you to imagine she has gone through this loss and now she has her only son who many, many commentators will say would have been her only means of livelihood and I get that entirely because certainly it would have been. This would have cut her off from provision. It would have placed her into a kind of poverty we can't even wrap our minds around in our present culture. All of that is true.
But I want to say to you, I'm not sure that was what was on her day that particular day. That would have come. That was on other minds, what will she ever do? Maybe she thought that. But I'm going to say see, in those days they were buried almost immediately because of the heat. So this didn't go on with all this manner of embalming for very long. It was a very quick process. So before this woman could even get her mind around what had happened she was in a funeral procession for her son. I think right then she could not even get past the fact that she was trying to put one foot in front of other.
I wonder if somebody is going through a season right now where you can barely put one foot in front of the other -- surreal situation. The woman must have been thinking, this cannot be -- this cannot be. And they are carrying him on a stretcher. One reason why we know they were not people of means is because the word that is being used there, it is going to be called a bier, a B-I-E-R. And as you see it in the scriptures, understand with me that is not a Budweiser.
Somebody? No! That is going to be a stretcher of sorts. So there's no casket, there is no top on it. His body is just laid out on this piece of wood or on this piece of canvas being carried by these who would have been his pallbearers. Don't you know that she was thinking, get me one too. Anybody ever thought that? You might as well roll me up another casket.
I'll never forget, I say this, if you can grin with me, back and forth just a little bit in a lesson about excessive sorrow, I'll never forget when my mother was being buried, the day that we had her funeral and we had gotten to the funeral home a little bit early; of course, we were the family. And my father, they were in their mid 70s, my father took me back because he wanted me to see what matching casket he had also chosen.
Anybody understand that with me? Because why? Because he was already thinking, listen, if she is gone, where's mine? Where's mine? Because it is hard to imagine we're going to go on living after this has happened and this loss has come. All of these things had to be going through the mind of this one woman who had lost her husband and now her only son.