Why are you seeking the living among the dead?It was a day like no other. Life itself seemed to stop. For the disciples of Jesus, everything was dark. Their hopes and dreams appeared to have died when Jesus gasped his last breath on the cross.
The hours after the crucifixion must have been filled with questions, doubts, and despair for Jesus’ followers. Those closest to Him were probably numb, overcome by emotion. They had cried so much over the night that they had no more tears left to shed.
The taunts of the Pharisees were ringing in their ears, “He can save others. But he can’t save himself.” They must have been wondering what went wrong. Jesus brought people back from the dead. He talked with Elijah and Moses on the mountain. He walked on water. But he did not come down off the cross. Why? They were numb and scared at the same time.
Jesus talked so much about His Kingdom. He even told the disciples that they would rule and reign with Him. But they did not understand they envisioned an earthly kingdom. They thought they would rule with Jesus when he kicked out the Romans. But God had a different plan. Instead of sitting on a thrown, Jesus hung on a cross – the ultimate symbol of shame.
A handful of women (Luke 24:1-12) dealt with their grief the only way they knew how. They sought to honor Jesus through service. They brought spices to treat His body. And they were stunned by what they found – an empty tomb.
These women went to the tomb expecting to find the dead body of their Messiah. Instead two men in shining garments met them and asked, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” It can be easy to miss the significance of this question.
How many times do people have preconceived ideas about God and His plan only to discover that their first inclinations were wrong? Our expectations can get in the way of understanding God’s plan. We frequently look for God to move in the wrong places. We seek living fruit in places where there is only death. Nothing works out like we had planned and then we begin to doubt God’s promises.
The angelic messengers reminded the women of Jesus’ words. He talked about his suffering on the cross. But his followers missed the point. God wants us to understand His plan. Prophecy has existed for years to guide those who would have ears to hear. But frequently we miss it because we look in the wrong place.
The one thing we think could never achieve God’s plan is the exact thing that God uses. To the Jews, the idea of a king conquering through dying as a common criminal on a cross seems completely absurd. Kings conquered through conquest not suffering a shameful, barbaric death.
If you are faithful to serve despite the pain of your circumstance, like the women at the tomb, you will see the power of God materialize. It may not happen in your timing or how you would do it. But God rewards those who are faithful by visiting them with His presence and power.
After finding the tomb empty, the woman went and told the apostles what they had seen. But the apostles rejected their claims. Their words seemed as “idle tales.” How often do we react to what God does in the same way as the apostles did? God does something incredible, and we think it is impossible – a fairy tale. Is there anything too great for God? Has He ped out of the miracle business?
Some are like Peter. They have a hard time believing it to be true. But they go and check the tomb just to be sure. And when they discover it empty, they scratch their head wondering what happened. They know the tomb is empty. But their reason gets in the way making it hard for them to accept what they know to be true – God did the impossible.
Where is the power of God moving today? If you are having a hard time seeing God’s hand in your life, maybe you are looking in the wrong place. Maybe you need to look in the one place where you have given up. Maybe God is in the one thing that you think is a lost cause. When you look at God’s track record, you see that He loves to tackle the impossible and specializes in the business of bringing life to death.