The women who arrived at the tomb of Jesus early that Sunday found it empty.
Well, almost empty.
Two angels were waiting for them. Preceding the announcement of the Resurrection of Christ, they asked the women the question, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” (Luke 24:5).
The question is not just a question for Easter, but it is one to be asked every time we run to anything less than eternal to bring lasting meaning. Too often, the “dead” things of the world are the focus of our pursuits instead of the “living” things offered to us by God.
We seek comfort from the things that shift too soon and too much. We seek to build our private world with thoughts and dreams that are bent on tearing us down. We seek anything other than God to set life right again.
We run to all manner of tomb-worthy endeavors…
Dead works incapable of bringing change.
Dead relationships stealing our peace and leading us astray.
Dead purposes keeping us occupied with less noble activities and choking our irretrievable time by the minute.
These things promise joy, contentment or love, but they can only bring temporary solace. Their end is not life-giving but life-taking. We fail to see how much of ourselves these decisions will demand from us. Remaining in the tomb will cost, but then, so will living a resurrected life.
In John’s biblical account, Jesus miraculously raised Lazarus from the dead, and more people became convinced of the claims of Christ and began to follow him (John 11). When the crowds to see Jesus and Lazarus grew even larger (and more people believed in the teachings of Jesus) the religious leaders plotted to kill them both (John 12:9-11). In their eyes, the crime of Jesus was claiming to be equal with God himself. Lazarus, on the other hand, was guilty by association. The risen man was a living testimony of the power of the Messiah. Whether through other people or by our own hands, somebody will always try to put the work of Jesus back into the grave.
Everything we allow or bring into our lives will either lead us farther from the tomb or deeper into it.
Where are you seeking the living among the dead?
We who follow Christ will embrace that we are new creations in him. – 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
We will live by the power of Christ in us and access that power through living by faith. – Galatian 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
We will seek the holy, worthy and eternal things as we follow Jesus. – Colossians 3:1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.