Time waits for no man. And the same is true for death. Death never works around our schedules. Instead, whenever death comes for friend or family, we must step aside. We take time off of work, cancel plans and yield the way to death’s schedule.

This is reflected in common funeral etiquette. We don’t plan visitations and funerals around everyone’s schedules. We expect friends and family to change their schedules (to the extent possible). Death waits for no man.

If you see a funeral procession coming down the road, you stop your schedule and pull your car to the side. If you’re walking on the sidewalk, you stop and wait for the procession to pass. We must step aside for death. It waits for no man.

Yet there was one day many years ago when death did wait for a man. In Luke 7:11-17, Jesus arrived at the gates of a town called Nain. A great funeral procession was coming out of town going to the cemetery. A young man, the only son of a widow, had died. Jesus and his disciples were supposed to step aside. Death waits for no man, right?

But Jesus didn’t step aside. There is one Man for whom death must wait. Jesus went right to the mother, telling her not to cry, and then to the casket to tell the young man, “Arise.” And death bowed down to Jesus. The man got up and the funeral procession turned around.

Not too long after that, Jesus took that man’s place and ours in the cemetery. He died and was buried. And Sunday morning He changed death’s schedule forever. He rose to never die again.

There’s only one Man stronger than death. And He has given us a promise, “Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live” (John 11:25). Death won’t wait for us sinners. But it will wait for Jesus. He is our forgiveness, life, and salvation. He tells death to step aside and brings us to eternal life.

Jonathan Boehne is pastor, Trinity Lutheran Church, El Paso.

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