Scripture Reference: Mark 5:21-43
It’s amazing what can happen in 12 years. Since 2003, so much in our world has changed; but Jesus Christ is still the same. We trust in Him as our Lord. Our church welcomes every person and loves everyone because each person is created in God’s image. We perform weddings for a man and a woman committed to a lifelong relationship based on Jesus’ command in Mark 10:7 and rooted at creation: “For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and cling to his wife and the two become one flesh.” First Baptist does not perform same-sex weddings because the husband-wife relationship is a picture of the way “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for it” (Ephesians 5:25).
Today, we looked at two women who shared two things in common. Both carried death inside them for 12 years, and both met Jesus at the intersection of life and death. A bleeding woman demonstrated courageous faith by touching Jesus’ clothes and confessing the whole truth to Jesus. For a little girl just beginning life, her father Jairus demonstrated courageous faith by persistently believing in Jesus even after the point of death.
Jesus healed both by offering them two kinds of grace. He accepted the bleeding woman for who she was and what she did. He called her “Daughter” and restored her to the community. For Jairus and his daughter, he gave them the grace of power. He removed their fear (“Do not be afraid”) and told them to “keep on believing.” When he arrived at Jairus’s home, he said the same word in Aramaic that is used in Mark 16 at the empty tomb: “Arise.” He showed them privately what his resurrection would be on Easter Sunday and promised a future resurrection for all believers.
Today, I shared a message of hope and encouragement for all of us at First Baptist. We carry death inside of us, whether we realize it or not. By turning to Jesus, persistently asking for his help, and confessing our truth to him, we are demonstrating courageous faith. Jesus offers us grace that we can share with others. When we trust in him, we have nothing to fear. He invites us to keep on believing even after the point of death and when we think all hope is lost. The bright shadow of the empty tomb covers us today. The same Lord that walked on water and calms the storms of life can handle court decisions, lawsuits, disease, and anything else we might be afraid of today. He accepts us for who we are and what we’ve done. He restores us to the community and empowers us to rise and follow Him as our Lord.