When Jesus Touches Your Coffin
We live in a world of boxes: mailboxes, post office boxes, drop boxes. In golf they have the tee box, in baseball they have the batter’s box, in hockey they have the penalty box. In basketball there’s a term called boxing out your opponent so that they can’t get the rebound. We have box seats, press boxes and boxcars. Restaurants have to-go boxes, politicians are worried about the ballot box, and on Valentine’s Day you hope you get a box of chocolates. We live in a world of boxes.
Webster’s dictionary defines box as a container, a small compartment, and as a verb it means to hem in your opponent. And one of the very first examples of box in the dictionary is a coffin. But in the Bible, we learn that Jesus looks past those definitions. He wants to break open the box and bring life back to what we’ve limited in our small containers.
Now it happened the day after, that He went into a city called Nain; and many of His disciples went with Him, and a large crowd. And when He came near the gate of the city, behold, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother; and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the city was with her. When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” So he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother.
Then fear came upon all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has risen up among us”; and, “God has visited His people.”
Jesus had just healed a man and a large crowd and His disciples were following Him on the street, rejoicing, praising and celebrating at the miracle they’d witnessed. But as they entered the city gate, there was a different type of procession going on. It was a sad, mournful funeral procession. And so the two collided. When they met in the street, Jesus turned to the mother who was mourning and said, “Do not weep.”
I believe today that God wants to collide with the sad songs, and the sad stories, and the sad episodes of your life. He wants your praise to overcome your sadness. He wants to touch the box you’re in, the box you’ve put your faith in, the box your children are in, the box the enemy has tried to lock you in.
In this story in Luke 7, a mother is grieving her dead son, and Jesus says to her, don’t cry anymore over what you think is finished in your life. When Jesus walked over to the coffin, He did something strange. He did not touch the dead boy … He touched the box. He touched the little compartment where this woman had carefully packed away her whole heart, and with it, so many hopes and dreams. He touched the thing that was restricting the boy—keeping him inside. He didn’t touch the boy; He touched the box. And when He touched it, the boy sat up and began to speak. When Jesus touches your coffin, that thing that is holding you back, it has to let you go.
The enemy wants to box you in, and box God into small spaces, small compartments and get you to stay there and keep God there until the dream ends up dead, because you allowed your faith to have a lid on it. But God is bigger than any box!
The box gives God parameters. The box limits how big God can be in your life. The box puts a limit on how far you can go. The enemy wants your faith and your relationship with God to be contained and have a lid on it. That’s why some Believers don’t want more of the Holy Spirit, because that doesn’t fit in their box. Some don’t praise and worship God because it doesn’t fit in their little religious box, but God wants to touch the coffin, and bring new life to your ideas. God will not stay in the box.
In the Old Testament, the presence of God was kept in a box. It’s called the Ark of the Covenant, and they believed that the box that God was in, which had been made by man’s hands brought them victory. They had the presence of God in a box and they had a lid on that box. If they had that box, then they had victory. If they didn’t have that box, they had defeat. The Old Testament is a book about a God who is in the box called the Ark of the Covenant, but Jeremiah prophesied that there was coming a day when no longer would we wish for the Ark of the Covenant, because the Lord Himself would be among us.
The New Testament is not a book about God in the box. The New Testament is about God in the flesh, and God with us. The word was made flesh and dwelled among us. Suddenly, God in the New Testament stepped out, put skin on, and Jesus got out of the box. That means that you don’t have to confine God to church, you can’t say He can only bless you in church. God is out of the box. God is not limited to meeting you in a building; He’ll meet you wherever you are, and go with you wherever you go.
When we put God in a box, and pack our dreams in there, and put a lid on it, we’re saying, “That’s as far as we can go, that’s as successful as we’re going to be, that’s as good as life is going to get for me.” And if we stay in a box long enough, it becomes a coffin.
It’s time to see God is bigger than the box you’ve put Him in and let Him take you out of the box, too. He’s bigger than your problem. He’s bigger than your situation. He’s bigger than your needs. When Jesus touches your coffin, the coffin cannot hold you. In Luke 7, He didn’t touch the person. He touched the thing that held them down and put a lid on them. He wants to break the power of the box off of your life. There is no lid! There is no limit! There is no stopping you from going where He’s called you to go and doing what He’s called you to do.
The only time the box is mentioned any time in the New Testament—the only time the actual word box is used—is when the woman with the alabaster box walked into where Jesus was and broke her box of expensive fragrance, pouring it on His feet.
Do you know how you can break the curse of the box? How you can break off the limit of the box, break out of the small space that life has put you in? Do you know how you break out of that box? By going to the feet of Jesus. Repentance breaks the box of habitual sin in your life. Repentance breaks the box of addiction in your life. Repentance breaks the box of depression and sorrow and condemnation and guilt and shame from the past at the feet of Jesus. She broke her box at His feet and turned what used to bring her shame, into worship, and poured it on His feet.
God knows you have a past, but He sees beyond your past. There is a cure if life has put you in a box and you feel like you’re so limited to small spaces. When Jesus touches your coffin … He didn’t touch the boy, He touched the thing that had him limited, and it had to let him go. When you let the joy, your praise and worship, the Spirit of the Lord collides with your coffin, that thing that has you boxed in has to let you go. And this is your day. Jesus is ready to touch your coffin. Today there’s faith. Today there’s hope. The Bible said that God will bless you, pressed down, shaken together, and running over. That’s God’s will for your life.