The following is my article for the Buffalo Center Tribune that was published yesterday. To God be the glory.
“Why do you seek the living among the dead?” (Luke 24:5)
The women, in the post-resurrection verse above, were looking for a dead body, Jesus. They were there to perform an act of love by anointing his body per Jewish custom, but their hearts were breaking. Their Lord, teacher, friend was dead. All hope was lost, even though they should have expected the scene they found. But as it is, they are looking for a corpse as they were mourning. For you see, they were looking for hope and thought they found him. They were looking for life and thought Jesus was it. He was supposed to establish his kingdom, but now he’s dead, nothing more than a rotting shell. What a seemingly tragic end on that “bad” Friday. And now, they are at a tomb looking for his dead body. This was not how it was supposed to be. But it is not the end. Jesus had told them, three times, that he was going to die and then rise on the third day. And so, the angles blow them out of the water with their rhetorical question – Why do you seek the living among the dead? Remember how he told all of this, that he was going to die and then rise? And then it began to click. You see, this is not admonishment. The angles are not condemning the women for their unbelief, but rather proclaiming good news, THE Good News. They were proclaiming the “It is finished” that Jesus uttered before he died. He is not dead. Jesus is alive.
I think about this scene, and also see it as a commentary on our own lives. Whether we admit it or not we are looking for the living among dead things. In the act of sinning, we are looking for that which makes us feel alive, happy, satisfied, and fulfilled. And when we do not find what we are looking for or when the good feelings fade, you keep on sinning; keep on looking; and keep on finding “dead things”.
No life. No happiness. No fulfillment. The seeking continues.
But in Jesus there is life. In Jesus there is joy. In Jesus there is a future. In Jesus there is hope, for through his death and resurrection your sins are forgiven. And so…
In what “dead things” are you looking for life?
In what “dead things” are you looking for happiness?
In what “dead things” are you looking for fulfillment?
Look to Jesus and see your life unfold. Seek him in scripture. Seek him in prayer. Seek him in worship. Seek him with your whole life. But as you seek, know that you seek not because Jesus is hiding but you seek him as a way of turning away from the “dead things” of this world that can only promise death. When you seek Jesus, you will find him. Seek Jesus for he is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He is the very one for whom you are looking. Seek THE Living One. Jesus. To God be all glory, honor, praise and worship, in Jesus’ name, Amen.