/ Nathan Eshelman

Talitha Cumi

Most of the Gospel of Mark is written in Greek, and when the reader is confronted with Jesus speaking Aramaic, it ought to give pause. Jairus's twelve year-old daughter--an only child--lay dead and the Lord Jesus had been called to her bedside to heal her. The Gospel records:

Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. Mark 5:41-42

With the quiet of the room and the mourning of the parents…

With Peter and James and John looking on…

With a twelve year old girl lying dead in her bed…

With all the wailing outside and the mockery of Jesus….

With the words of her death spreading around the small town….

Jesus, the precious savior, takes this little girl by the hand and whispers in Aramaic:

Talitha cumi.

These are two of the most precious words in all of the Word of God:

“Little girl, get up.”
“Honey, it’s okay—rise up.”
"Rise up, little girl."

And she did.

She rose from the dead as Jesus brought her back to life through whispering two of the most precious words that have ever crossed the lips of humanity.

Talitha cumi.

Now go--if you will--with me into the next years and decades of life, along with this twelve-year old girl. Use your sanctified imagination. She was raised from the dead, but death would still come to the family. One day she would have buried her dad—Jairus would have died. Her mom would one day be lowered into the grave. Other family and friends would die--she would have experienced death in these ways. And that time for her would come as well—maybe she’s 80, maybe she’s 90—nevertheless, she would again be in a bed dying. The reality of death would again darken her door. Yet, it would be different. Reflecting on all those years ago when she met Jesus and the miracle and grace that he performed--things would be different. She would have comfort in the face of death.

She would come to see again face-to-face the one who conquered death—the one who died and was raised again on the third day as the first fruit of the resurrection of the dead—

Jesus would bring her home—and she would rise to worlds unknown.

While I draw this fleeting breath,
When mine eyes shall close in death,
When I soar to worlds unknown,
See Thee on Thy judgement throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.

You see each one of us will die. All of us. In 100 years there will be worshipers in our church buildings, and not one of them will know or remember your name. Death comes to all.

And for all who are in Jesus Christ—for all that look at sin and know the only hope is that double cure of the Lord Jesus Christ—washed from sin and made pure—for all that do not fear, but believe:

There will come a time when the graves will opened. And all of you ladies who are in Christ will hear: “Talitha cumi."  "Little girl, get up." And all of you men who are resting in Jesus for the forgiveness of sin—you will hear: “Talay Cumi." "Little boy, get up.”

And you will be ushered into eternity—body and soul—by the one who conquered death. Ushered into the presence of God by the Christ who loved sinners enough to become sin and to take on death so that you will live eternally.

Talitha cumi.

Nathan Eshelman

Nathan Eshelman

Pastor in Orlando, studied at Puritan Reformed Theological & Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminaries. One of the chambermen on the podcast The Jerusalem Chamber. Married to Lydia with 5 children.

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