“Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.”” (Mark 5:41, ESV)
Is there a more memorable, beautiful scene in all of the gospels than this scene in which Jesus, Peter, James, John, Mommy, and Daddy [Jairus] enter into the room of a twelve-year-old girl who has just died? What must everyone but Jesus have been thinking? “What is he going to do?” “My daughter is dead, is he going to bless her in death?” “He told me to believe, what hope is there now?”
Jesus kicks out everyone except these five witnesses and enters into the death room. The description is short and simple. He takes the dead girl by the hand [the power of touch again!] and says, “Talitha cumi,” this is the Aramaic language which was spoken in Palestine at the time. It means, as Mark explains, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” The Scots Braid edition of the Bible has Jesus saying here, “Lassie, wauken,” “Wake up, Lass.”
And she does wake up.
She is restored to her mommy and daddy. The disciples are amazed. Jesus tells them to keep quiet about what has just happened, although given the fact that the mourners knew that the girl had been dead, the incident must have spread faster than chaff in the wind. Jesus tells them to give the girl something to eat. One wonders if this little nugget of information is there for the skeptics who will come afterward and not believe that the girl had been restored to life, a spirit does not need to eat food.
My oldest sister Mary’s first child was stillborn. She was a girl. They named her Talitha Cumi. She is buried near my father. We will meet her in heaven.