Why Do You Seek The Living Among the Dead?
Today is Easter. Today all over the world people will take time to celebrate the most significant event in history, Jesus’ resurrection. It is something I personally look forward to and spend time preparing for. I love to read each gospel account and imagine myself in the middle of the events unfolding. It makes it personal and real; it helps me celebrate this day.
This year, as I read through the gospel of Luke I got to the account of the resurrection; the women had just returned to grave with spice on the first day of the week. They were prepared to use them in preserving Jesus’ body. However, when they got there, they found the stone rolled away and there was no body. While they were pondering this, two men, whose clothing was as white as lightning appeared and asked, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?” (Luke 24:5b).
My thought, “Why wouldn’t you look for Him there?”
From a human perspective, it is perfectly logically to return to the tomb. They all saw Jesus crucified and buried. The women also followed Joseph of Arimathea to the tomb to see how His body had been put in there (Luke 23:55). So it makes perfect sense that this is where they should find Him… But they didn’t count on the resurrection. So again, the angels question echos “Why do you look for the living among the dead?”
My thought, “Are we like this?”
Are we failing to see the results of the resurrection in each day. Are we so inundated with death that we leave no room for the miracle of God’s resurrection life?
“I Am the Resurrection and the Life”
Shortly before Jesus was crucified, His friend Lazarus died. As Jesus stood among the crowd of people weeping, Mary came to Him, fell at His feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:32b). At this Jesus was deeply moved in spirit and troubled... then Jesus wept (John 11:33, 35).
What moved Jesus to such extreme sorrow and grief? It was not that His friend had died. Jesus said earlier to Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die” (John 11:25-26b).
Jesus wept because HE WAS LIFE and the only thing the people COULD SEE WAS DEATH.
Resurrection, grave defeating life was standing in their midst but the people only perceived the victory death possessed. It troubled and grieved Jesus inwardly that this was the plight of humanity.
In this case, they didn’t even know to look for the living among the dead, even when He was standing before them. In the case of the women at Jesus’ grave site, they hadn’t understood all that He said to them and so they continued to look for the living among the dead.
We however have the benefits of hindsight. We know what happened. We know that Jesus resurrected from the dead; He broke the power death had over us by forgiving our sins. He ascended into heaven and now resides at the right hand of God the Father having been given the title of “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” (Revelation 19:16).
Jesus Came To Bring Life!
At Lazarus’ tomb, “Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go” (John 11:44b). As soon as Lazarus was restore to life, Jesus commanded those around to release him from the graves’ reminder.
At moment of Jesus’ death, “the tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people” (Matthew 27:52). Jesus commanded death to release the holy people it had held captive.
Jesus came to bring life! This is why we celebrate today! Even though we still see devastation because of sin; we look to Jesus to see life! He is not dead; rather He is the resurrection and the life. May you find life in Him today!
Happy Resurrection Celebration!
Let’s Have a Conversation...
“Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go”... In what areas are you still bound by grave clothes? Where should you be looking for life? Starting today, how does Jesus’ resurrection impact the way you will approach living?