Article by Steve Gettinger

Everyone loves a parade, right?  Well… it depends what kind of a parade, right?  What kind of a parade might we not like or want to go to?  A parade of cars filled with people who have just lost a loved one to death, is not the kind of a parade any of us enjoys or likes to be apart of.. do we?  Imagine what would happen if a joyous and festive parade like the Macy Thanksgiving day parade met face to face with a sad and sorrowful parade like a funeral procession headed up by a hertz  with a dead person in it followed by a long line of cars with those little flags on the top.

I wonder what the commentators would say at that awkward moment. They might actually be speechless for once……maybe.  What would happen? Who would have the right of way?   Perhaps you are thinking that this is a ridiculous scenario and would never happen.  Well, in Luke 7:11-17, a parade of death met a Parade of Life.

There were two big parades that day near the gates of the city called Nain.

1. The Parade of life-led by Jesus:
The one was the Parade of Life lead by Jesus, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. The one who taught with words that gave life and with actions
that healed the sick, feed the poor, and “Yes” raised the dead. That is why the disciples and the crowds who followed Jesus were excited to be a part of that royal procession.

2. The Parade of death was led by yet another victim of sin’s curse.
The Parade of death was led by the lifeless corpse of the widow’s son being carried by the paw bearers headed for the cemetery.

Imagine that mother for a moment with tears streaming down her sad cheeks. Imagine her loss at not only the loss of her son but also the loss of her husband sometime earlier. Think about the heavy load of grief she must have been bearing at that moment that the two parades came face to face.

Little did she know that in the parade facing her was Jesus,
– the one who with one touch of His hand and a few words would change her
and her son’s life forever.
– The one who would take her upside down world and turn it right side up.
– The one who would turn her grief into joy
– The one who would turn her mourning into dancing.
– The one who would do what no mortal man could ever do…..raise her son
from the dead.

Listen to what happened when she came face to face with Jesus. When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.”   Life had dealt this poor widow two very serious blows, the death of her husband and the death of her only son. Without a husband and a son, she would have most probably end up in severe poverty and have to beg for daily bread. Jesus had compassion on her and told her do not weep. He could tell her not to weep, because he knew what he was about to do, a miracle.

You see when the Parade of death comes face to face with the parade of life one them has to give way and it is a ripe opportunity for a miracle.  At one time each one of us was marching in the parade of spiritual death…. dead in our trespasses and sins. We were marching toward an eternity in hell where there is weeping and suffering forever.

But something happened…………a miracle happened.  Our Father in heaven, saw mankind on a death march heading straight toward the flames of hell and had compassion on us. He had compassion on us by sending His only begotton son, Jesus to come and deal with sin, death and the devil once and for all. God gave Jesus into the jaws of death so that we might be freed from the trap of sin and live.

Jesus dealt with our sin by allowing himself:
– to be paraded before Romans guards who beat him mercilessly……
so that we could receive mercy from God
– to be paraded before religious leaders who falsely accused him …
so that we might know the truth of salvation and live.
– to be paraded before the crowds who demanded He be put to death on an
old rugged cross… so that by his death we might live in heaven forever.

Each one of us here are only one heart beat from eternity. An eternity in heaven or an eternity in hell.  As a child of God, you have faith in Jesus and all that He has done for you. He died for you sins on the cross, so that when you come to Him with a repentant heart He forgives you all your sins.

As God’s children we have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving:

– The Forgiveness of sins,
– Eternal life in heaven when we die,
– All the things that God bless us with on this earth: food, drink, clothing,
shoes, house, home, land, animals, a spouse, children, friends, and freedom
to worship with out fear.

-All of God’s promises to us are “Yes!” through Christ Jesus our Lord.  Promises like:
* I am with you always even to the end of the world
* Do not be afraid even when you walk thru the valley of the death
* My peace I give to you
* I will take care of you
* I love you my precious child.

When you gather with your family or friends this Thanksgiving & Christmas season and parade around the table of food filling your plate pause for a moment and give thanks to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit who worked the miracle of salvation in your life. Amen.

Now may the peace that surpasses all under give you reason to be thankful until the day God calls you home.