The gospel writer Luke provides a gripping snapshot of the very first Easter. Jesus was crucified and buried on a Friday. Because he’s buried quickly, as the Jewish Sabbath is about to begin, his body isn’t provided a proper burial. The women who want to honor him, then, have to wait until Sunday morning to pay their final respects, to finish the burial rights.
The passage reads, “very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!” (Luke 24:1b-5).
These poor women. The angels ask, “Why are you looking for Jesus here?”
And they’re thinking, “Because this is the last place we saw him and … he was dead.”
Their expectation was reasonable, logical and understandable given their understanding of reality.
But the angel inquires, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?” The assumption being, if you’re going to look for Jesus anywhere, stop scoping the cemetery. He’s not dead anymore!
Do you ever find yourself looking for Jesus in predictable places? And then missing him?
Or maybe you’re looking for something only Christ can provide. You seek:
contentment in pleasure,
peace in revenge
joy in a quick fix
It’s not that these things don’t make sense. Maybe these avenues have provided the emotional shot we needed to survive before. But they don’t know. We keep getting disappointed that anger and insecurity and pride and gossip and ambition don’t deliver. Why? Because we’re looking for the living among the dead. Here’s a quick tip: If the Resurrected Jesus doesn’t hang out where you’re looking, keep moving. If the places we go for significance and security keep letting us down, it because we lost sight of the Risen Jesus somewhere along the way.