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Jesus Has Already Been There
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The following funeral message can be easily memorized and delivered without notes. The repetitious use of the title phrase, Jesus Has Already Been There, can be a powerful trumpet of God’s comforting light during the darkness of death.

Outline Summary
 

Introduction
Friday Afternoon in Nazareth - Luke 2:51
Morning in the Carpenter’s Shop - Matthew 13:55, Mark 6:3
Clinic Day in Capernaum - Matthew 8:16, 12:5, Luke 6:16-19
The Tardy Mortician - Mark 5:22-43, Luke 8:41-56
Christ’s Empty Grave - Matthew 28:5-7, Mark 16:5-7
Conclusion

Introduction
 

1. Come with me for a moment in your imagination.
2. For in this meditation, we will find real hope and real comfort from a real God.
3. A God who loves us and promises a day of reunions when His Son returns to this earth.

Body
  1. Come with me to a little village (Friday Afternoon in Nazareth)
 

We enter a humble home… just a couple of rooms.
The mother busies herself in the kitchen.
Sabbath is approaching, and she wants all to be ready.
She prepares simple food – rice and beans, fruit.
A delicious aroma fills the home.
The Challa is rising on the counter, to be baked later.
She knows she must also tidy the family sleeping quarters.
She parts the curtain the separates the two rooms… to continue her labors.

But….
She is pleasantly surprised.
The beds have been made with fresh linens.
The floor has been swept.
The trash has been taken out to the incinerator.
There is nothing more she need do.
She can start to rest earlier today.
Mary’s mouth curves into a smile.

It is obvious that…. JESUS HAD ALREADY BEEN THERE.
Jesus was a helpful child.  He had been doing His chores
He wanted to make things easier for His dear mother.

  2. Come with me to that same home…(Morning in the Carpenter’s Shop)
 

A hard working contractor, the father rises early.
He wants to get an early start to his day, before the heat makes sweating easy.
There are many small orders on his work bench.
Plus…there is the room addition for the Rabbi.
There was still more to be done, always more.
He had promised to fix that broken chair by last week.
He would positively get to it today.
He stretches out his neck and flexes his bulging muscles.
Then, reaches for the door-handle to his shop.  His day had begun.
He looks inside…

And…there on the workbench is…the chair.
It’s missing leg is no longer missing!
He can hardly tell which is the replacement!  That one?  No, that one!
His son was getting good with wood…but this good!?  Impressive!
The curves had been hand rubbed with a new coat of stain.
It glistens in the morning sun.
Why…the bill is even made out.
It is ready for delivery.
And Joseph’s mouth curves into a smile.

It is obvious that…. JESUS HAD ALREADY BEEN THERE.
Jesus the young adult craftsman, had worked late into the night.
He wanted to make the day a little easier on his dear old dad.

Joseph put on his tool belt, and picked up the next work order.

  3. Come with me to a near by town (Clinic Day in Capernaum)
 

The traveling doctors have arrived.
Even though it’s a big town, they don’t have their own doctor.
It’s either the 2nd or 4th Wednesday. Clinic Day
They always have a full schedule of patients.

 

Long lines of lepers
Big Bunches of the Blind
Standing room only for the strange.

 

It will be a busy day.
The good doctors unpack their bags and open the doors.

But…there is no one there!!
The street is empty.
There’s not even a mild case of the sniffles!
“We’ve come a long way for clinic day.”
They ask a passing woman…
“It is very strange…where are all our normal patients?”
“Oh!” she replies “There was a healer here yesterday. 

  “There’s not a sick person in town!  Isn’t it great!” she smiles.
 

“Great” the doctor’s reply, half-heartedly, thinking of the billing they won’t receive.
Then the doctor’s started to smile too, thinking of pain free people,

   instead of their bottom line.
 

It was obvious that JESUS HAD ALREADY BEEN THERE.
He had healed them all – everything from the common cold to cancer,
Sniffles to Syphilis, Hangnails to Herpes.

The doctors packed their bags and headed out of town. They’d be home for supper.

  4. Come with me to another visit to another lake-side village. (The Tardy Mortician)
 

 A funeral director has received a message.
“The synagogue leaders little girl has died. Very sudden. Will you come?”
He has some other work to do, and was delayed in coming right away.
Besides, family handled most of the arrangements anyway.
But…he finally did arrive.
And…instead of finding a corpse, he found a kid.
A girl…very much alive, sitting up and having a snack.
“Hey,” the mortician said “It’s not nice to make a crank call to the funeral director.”
“Oh…the little girl was dead alright. But we will no longer require your services.”

You see… JESUS HAD ALREADY BEEN THERE.
He had gone into her slumber room, and taken her cooling, stiffening hand.
And spoke to her quiet little ears “Little girl, I say to you…arise.”
Then, color rushed back into her cheeks.  Her lips pinked up.
Her lungs filled with air…and her eyes opened.
That’s what happens when you invite Jesus to the death chamber.

A little girl talks with her mouth full “Imf meelin’ bebber nuw.”
A father and mother look on with great relief.
The mortician shakes his head and heads back to the office.

  5. Today we come to an open casket and/or an open grave.
 

We stand by a six foot trench, rimmed by plastic grass.
We gather to say “good night” to a spouse/child/relative/friend.
There are red, puffy eyes and blank stares.
Death has visited a human home once again.

But I’ve got some GOOD NEWS for us, who gaze into a new tomb.
JESUS HAD ALREADY BEEN THERE…TOO!

The grave is no stranger to Jesus.
He has occupied a grave…for parts of 3 days.
And because of that…the grave has lost its sting.

For a Christian, the grave is not an occupied pit of hopelessness and despair.
It is a temporary resting place.
Because JESUS HAS ALREADY BEEN THERE…and is no longer there.
HE IS RISEN!

“But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have  fallen asleep…but each in his own turn; Christ, the firstfruits, then when He comes,  those who belong to Him.” 1 Corinthians 15:20, 23

  Conclusion
  1. Revelation 1:5  Jesus is identified as “The Living One who holds the keys to death and the grave."
2. We can be confident that death is not a horrible experience, but a peaceful one.
3. It is like a pleasant sleep (John 11:11).
4. The dead will live again…
5. The grave we fill today…will be empty too!...and the final resurrection.
6. Where Jesus is there is joy, peace, love and comfort.
7. Where Jesus has been there are smiles, changed people, wholeness and LIFE.
8. May the truth that Jesus has been here and been to death and back, give us comfort and hope today
9. Amen.

Submitted by Pastor O. Kris Widmer. Better Sermons © 2005-2007. Click here for usage guidelines.



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