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Why do you seek the living among the dead?

posted 26 Feb 2016, 01:45 by Bert Weenink

Where else should the women have looked? They had seen so clearly that their Lord had died. They had seen how His battered and bruised body had been taken from the cross. He had been buried in a tomb made available by Joseph of Arimathea. There was no doubt about it—Jesus was dead. The women were just going to the grave to cover His body with some spices—it was the only thing left for them to do.

 

But what an unexpected turn of events: ‘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! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: `The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.'" (Luke 24:2-7)

 

Just imagine: These women were just planning to pay their last respects to a beloved Master, but instead they made some amazing discoveries:

 

· The seal of the tomb was broken and the soldiers were gone

· The stone had been rolled away

· The body of the Lord Jesus was missing

· Two angels spoke to them about resurrection

 

There was a slight rebuke in the words of the angels. Jesus Himself, as He appeared to His disciples expressed some disappointment in their lack of faith. So how did the women and the disciples go wrong?


The first reason where they went wrong is that they went to the tomb, as this was the last place they saw Him. They had been making their plans without considering the power of God. Jesus was dead—dead bodies need spices—dead bodies are not raised to life again—these things just do not happen!

 

Isn’t that how we often live? We plan, we make decisions, we go here, we go there, we do this, we do that, we try to be rational, sensible, wise and thoughtful. We do things that make sense, we plan what is possible, we go out when the door is open and stay home when the door is closed.

Is it wrong to be sensible? No, not really, but don’t forget that the beginning of true wisdom is ‘the fear of the Lord’. (Read the opening chapters of Proverbs) In other words, we need to reckon with God and all He is, and all He can, and all He wants…

 

The second reason why the women and the disciples went wrong is that they hadn’t been listening when He told them beforehand that He was to suffer, die and rise again on the third day. When the angels reminded them, they remembered, but why had they forgotten something so important in the first place?

 

Here again, it is easy for us to go wrong as well. God has given us some wonderful truths, some amazing promises and incredible revelations, but we forget.  As the old hymn says ‘tell me the story often, for I forget so soon…’ I don’t think that that is a truth worth singing about!

 

· We shouldn’t forget, but remember.

· We should take God at His Word and act upon it and step out and be prepared to be amazed!

· We should base more of our prayers on boldly something like this: Lord you said that if we would do such-and-such, you some of those supernatural promises of God.

Never mind ‘common sense’. People are not saved by using common sense. Churches are not built on common sense. Communities are not turned upside down through common sense.

 

Go and read the Bible finding God-given promises that you can pray back to Him. Just as Nehemiah did (read chapter 1), praying would bless us…. So Lord, here we are, we are doing such-and-such—stand by your Word Lord, do it Lord, fulfil your promises, Lord, amaze us, Lord.

One of the most amazing promises in the Bible is the one found in Ephesians 1:19-21 ‘….and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.’

 

What amazes me here is not the fact that the power of God raised Christ from the dead. Nor that this same power seated Jesus at God’s right hand. Nor that God’s amazing power exalted Jesus far above all rule and authority. What amazes me is that that same power that raised Jesus from the dead, is at work for us who believe!

 

Let us not make the same mistake as these women did, who were in the wrong place at the wrong time, seeking to put spices on a dead body, while they should have been worshipping the living Lord! Let us not limit what God can do, but let us be expectant. Let us pray and plan and serve with the power of God in mind.

 

Happy Easter!

Pastor Bert

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