Transformed – teen devotion – June 30, 2024

One truth shared: The living Lord completely changes our view of death.

When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” So Jesus went with him.

While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?”

Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him.

After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished.

Mark 5:21-24a,35-43

Victory over Death

Let’s talk about death.

Do you hate it? Fear it? When you think of death, do you think of your own death or the death of a loved one? Nobody wants to experience it – the dreaded phone call that someone we deeply care about is gone, the funeral of a loved one, the doctor’s terminal diagnosis, the reality of our own mortality or impending passing. It’s crushing! But we have to talk about it because it’s a fact of life. It’s unavoidable. That’s what makes it so difficult – the reality and finality of death.

Is your fear that we or our loved one did something so wrong to displease God that he would punish us or them with death? Or we fear that God is uncaring or insensitive to what we’re going through – that he would allow us to experience something so horrible alone and without hope? Even worse, when someone near to us minimizes our fear and grief that we’re experiencing. How can he or she be so ignorant or insensitive?!

Death can really put our faith to the test.

Perhaps that’s how the people around Jesus felt when Jesus said, “The child is not dead but asleep.” Perhaps that’s why they actually even laughed in the middle of their mourning. “Jesus, how can you be so insensitive?”

Jesus, however, is not cold-hearted or uncaring. Jesus can genuinely and sincerely minimize death because he has the power over it. He can wake someone up from death as easily as he can wake someone up from a nap. And that’s exactly what he did for Jarius’ daughter!

Jesus now says to us what he said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” Jesus took the death we deserved when he died on the cross. And then, Jesus rose from the dead to assure us that death is not the end.

That’s worth repeating: Death is not the end.

May we be like a grieving Jairus in our hour of fear and need. Seek out Jesus! He is the only one who can really help us with death. Be certain that he will not forsake us when we’re afraid. Recognize Jesus for who he is – the Son of God, who conquered death and has power over death. Then, like Jairus, trust that Jesus will calm our fears and will give us exactly what we need when death comes knocking.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I am often scared of death, mine and those I love. I don’t like to think about it, and I hope that it doesn’t come anytime soon. I know that you have the victory over death. You raised Jarius’ daughter from death and your resurrection proves it. Help me to not be afraid. Amen.

Teen Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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