Jesus and these followers went to the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. Jesus saw many people there crying loudly. There was much confusion. Jesus entered the house and said to the people, "Why are you people crying and making so much noise? This child is not dead. She is only sleeping."
— Mark 5:38-39
One of the ways early Christians spoke of the death of a believer was to say that they had "fallen asleep." While I am not sure they had this encounter with Jesus in mind when they used the term, it is easy to see how they could have made the connection. In the presence of Jesus, death becomes mere sleep as believers await the dawn of their Lord's glorious and triumphant coming.
O LORD God, thank you for sending your Son to destroy the power of death over us. Help me to truly believe that at its worst, death is no more than a peaceful sleep until we are awakened with the dawn of your Son's return. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Today's Verses in Context
Jesus went in the boat back across to the other side of the lake. There, many people gathered around him by the lake. A leader of the synagogue came to that place. His name was Jairus. Jairus saw Jesus and bowed down before him. Jairus begged and begged Jesus. He said, "My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her. Then she will be healed and will live." So Jesus went with Jairus. Many people followed Jesus. They were pushing very close around him. A woman was there among the people. This woman had been bleeding for the past twelve years. The woman suffered very much. Many doctors tried to help her. All the money she had was spent. But she was not improving. Her sickness was becoming worse. The woman heard about Jesus. So she followed Jesus with the people and touched his coat. The woman thought, "If I can touch his clothes, that will be enough to heal me." When the woman touched his coat, her bleeding stopped. The woman felt that her body was healed from the suffering. And Jesus felt power go out from him. So he stopped and turned around. Then he asked, "Who touched my clothes?" The followers said to Jesus, "There are many people pushing against you. But you ask, 'Who touched me?'" But Jesus continued looking for the person that touched him. The woman knew that she was healed. So she came and bowed at Jesus' feet. The woman was shaking with fear. She told Jesus the whole story. Jesus said to the woman, "Dear woman, you are made well because you believed. Go in peace. You will have no more suffering." Jesus was still there speaking. Some men came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. The men said, "Your daughter is dead. There is now no need to bother the teacher (Jesus)." But Jesus did not care what the men said. Jesus said to the synagogue leader, "Don't be afraid; only believe." Jesus let only Peter, James, and John the brother of James go with him. Jesus and these followers went to the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. Jesussaw many people there crying loudly. There was much confusion. Jesus entered the house and said to the people, "Why are you people crying and making so much noise? This child is not dead. She is only sleeping." But all the people laughed at Jesus. Jesus told the people to leave the house. Then Jesus went into the room where the child was. He brought the child's father and mother and his three followers into the room with him. Then Jesus held the girl's hand and said to her, "Talitha, koum!" (This means, "Little girl, I tell you to stand up!") The girl stood up and began walking. (The girl was twelve years old.) The father and mother and the followers were amazed. Jesus gave the father and mother very strict orders not to tell people about this. Then Jesus told them to give the girl some food to eat.
Related Scripture Readings
Those children are people with physical bodies. So Jesus himself became like those people and had the same experiences people have. Jesus did this so that, by dying, he could destroy the one who has the power of death. That one is the devil. Jesus became like those people and died so that he could free them. They were like slaves all their lives because of their fear of death.
But we thank God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. So, my dear brothers and sisters, stand strong. Don't let anything change you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord. You know that your work in the Lord is never wasted.
1 Corinthians 15:57-58
Brothers and sisters, we want you to know about those people who have died. We don't want you to be sad like other people—people who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died. But we believe that Jesus rose again. So, because of Jesus, God will raise to be with Jesus those people who have died. What we tell you now is the Lord's own message. We who are living now might still be living when the Lord comes again. We who are living at that time will be with the Lord, but not before those people who have already died. The Lord himself will come down from heaven. There will be a loud command. That command will be given with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God. And the people who have died and were in Christ will rise first. After that, we people who are still alive at that time will be gathered up with those people who have died. We will be taken up in the clouds and meet the Lord in the air. And we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18