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Jesus' touch

When the Lord saw [the widow whose son had also just died], his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.” Then he went up and touched the bier they were carrying him on, and the bearers stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!”
- Luke 7:13-14

In ancient Israel, touching a dead body carried consequences. Touch a dead body and you would be considered ritually unclean for a week (Numbers 19:11). You’d have to purify yourself and wait before you could re-engage God. People went out of their way to avoid contact with the dead.

But not Jesus.

Jesus wasn’t particularly protective of his own ritual purity. He touched lepers and the woman who had been bleeding for over a decade. He healed on the Sabbath. He touched the dead.

Over and over again, in every situation, when Jesus reached out to touch someone who was unclean something remarkable happened. Ordinarily, that unclean person would spread their unclean status to the person who touched them. But not in Jesus’ case. When Jesus touched someone his life, his health, his purity made them new.

Do you see that in today’s passage? Jesus approached the bier carrying the dead body. He touched it. And he didn’t run away.

We all have areas in our lives where we’re hurting, broken, guilty, ashamed, in pain or experiencing sadness. That’s part of our common human experience in this fallen world. We long for this all to be repaired, to be restored, to be made new. And that’s what Jesus does.

What do you need Jesus to touch? What do you need Jesus to make new? Identify it in prayer with him today. Talk to him about it. Call out for him to intervene. Demonstrate your faith by asking

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