THE TWO PROCESSIONS
Luke 7:11-15 ¶ Soon afterwards He went to a city called Nain; and His disciples were going along with Him, accompanied by a large crowd. Now as He approached the gate of the city, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a sizeable crowd from the city was with her. When the Lord saw her, He felt compassion for her, and said to her, “Do not weep.” And He came up and touched the coffin; and the bearers came to a halt. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise!” The dead man sat up and began to speak. And Jesus gave him back to his mother.
What an amazing picture of the clash of the two worlds all around us. In this story we see two processions, a procession of death and a procession of life. This is a portrayal of the two contrasting cultures on a collision course all around us. The funeral procession pictures the parade of death that marches through our world. In this crowd we see the pained, hopeless faces of those enslaved to the destructive lifestyle of our culture. There are people in it enslaved to fear, poverty, lust, sickness, and substance abuse. There are also those who are captive to unforgiveness, bitterness, pride, selfish ambition, and an endless list of unsavory characteristics.
Then there is the procession of life. Look at their faces! They are marked with the reflection of the Glory of their King. Each of these were once slaves of the other world. Now they are forgiven, now they are liberated, they have joined the joyful celebration of the procession of life. In the story of the dead man in Nain, Jesus stopped the march of death, He put His hand on the casket, and spoke to the dead man. “Young man, I say to you, arise!” Instantly life entered into this young man, no longer part of a march to the grave, he had been enlisted into another life, he was now joining the Lord and His followers in this joyful celebration. He was alive, raised from the dead by the touch of God, translated from one world to another in a moment of time.
Today, this story is being lived out countless times. We may not be aware of it, but these two parades are all around us. Actually, we are all marching in one of these processions. It is the march of life that leads to Glory, or the painful march of death, leading to destruction. Which processional are you walking in today? Recently, the Lord began to pour out His Spirit in a fresh way in our church. He promised in the book of Acts, that He would send seasons of revival until He returns to this earth. These outpourings are His divine visitations. The residents of Nain had no idea that the Lord was passing their way that day. He was coming to Nain! They would never be the same, their town would never be the same. In the same way, we are caught by surprise when He suddenly visits our town in the person of the Holy Spirit. Why does He come? The same reason He went to the little town of Nain. There were prisoners held captive by the power of death that He intended to liberate. That is why He visited Nain, that is why He is visiting New Orleans. Maybe He is looking for your casket. Maybe He is looking for the casket of one of your family members or friends. When He arrives the two processions come to a halt. There, decisions are being made. Both parades will continue their relentless march, which one will you be in?