A famous American mystery writer entitled one of his novels “The Big Sleep.” It was a cynical reference to death. Cynical because the author clearly considered death to be the final “sleep,” the one from which there is no awakening.
But Jesus Christ was not being cynical when He said that Jairus’s daughter, who had died, was sleeping. He knew that He was going to take that little girl’s hand and say to her, “My child, get up.” And she who had been dead would live again. That’s just what happened.
Jesus promises all who trust in Him that He will awaken them from death to live with Him forever in a new world, in heaven. That’s why the Apostle Paul calls those who have died depending on Jesus’ redemption people who have “fallen asleep” in Him.
Christ died and rose from death. And so will all who put their trust in Him.
Asleep, in Jesus! Blessed sleep, From which none ever wakes to weep;
A calm and undisturbed repose, Unbroken by the last of foes.
Asleep tn Jesus! Peaceful rest, Whose waking is supremely blest
No fear, no woe, shall dim that hour That manifests the Savior's power.
Asleep In Jesus! Oh, for me May such a blissful refuge be!
Securely shall my ashes lie And wait the summons from on high.
(The Lutheran Hymnal, 587:1, 3-4)