There are not many accounts of the raising of the dead in the OT. Three occur in the books of Kings. The first, in 1 Kings 17 tells the story of the Elijah intervening in prayer and action to raise the son of the widow Zarephath.. The second, in 2 Kings 4, is an equally gripping story of the intervention of Elisha to restore to life to the only child of a Shunammite woman. The third is a brief, but striking account in 2 Kings 13:21 of a man being restored to life when his body touched the bones of Elisha in the tomb. We will focus on the second account.
These stories have survived, and Jesus was known as one who raised the dead to life (Matthew 5:11). However, we also know that those who were brought back to life eventually died again. We ponder that reality in the light of the promise of resurrection to eternal life in Jesus Christ. In the meantime, in this year of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the NHS, we remain deeply grateful for all those who strive to keep us alive and well.
Reading: 2 Kings 4
Questions to think about:
- This dramatic account mirrors another involving Elijah in 1 Kings 17:17 24, both point to the healing ministry of Jesus himself. Do they have any relevance for us today?
- Statistics confirm that one out one of dies. But what does the gospel teach us about the promise of resurrection to eternal life in Jesus Christ? (I Corinthians 15:12 ff)
- In this 70th anniversary of the NHS, give thanks for the any ways in which modern medical advances help people to overcome serious threats to their health.