Jesus Christ Lives!
“Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!”
If you can’t find your shoes, do you look for them on your bookshelf? Of course not! What a ridiculous idea! No matter how difficult it might be to find your shoes, you can be sure that they won’t be among your books. You’re looking in completely the wrong area and your search will not be successful. In order for your search to be successful, you need to look in more likely places and you need to remember what has happened in the past with the lost items. Then you will look in the right places and will find what has become lost.
Looking for things in the wrong places, looking for someone in the wrong place, is just what the women did on Easter morning. They had attended Jesus Christ and his disciples for quite a while and supported them from their own means (Luke 8:3).And on Good Friday, while much of the crowd went away after Jesus had breathed his last, these women remained and at a distance watched everything that happened (Luke 23:49). Now at the earliest opportunity, on the day after the Sabbath, they had come to pay their last respects to Jesus Christ. They had come to the tomb in which He was buried in order to give Him a proper burial. They wanted to anoint Jesus’ body with perfumes and spices so that it might be preserved as much as possible. In this way, they wanted to show their love and devotion to their Lord. They came very early in the morning for there was no time to lose as the decay could set in quickly.
And so there the women went, carrying their spices. They thought that they were going to find the dead body of Jesus in the tomb. He had died after all, hadn’t He? Indeed, another possibility never even occurred to these women.
They had all witnessed his agonizing death on the cross. The images of this were still vivid in their minds. It was all they could think about. So now they go to where they are certain He is to be found, among the dead, in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea.
But when they arrived at the tomb, they immediately noticed that something was amiss. The first thing that they found, as it says in Luke 24:2, was that the stone was rolled away from the tomb. What could have happened? Why was the stone removed from the opening to the tomb? Had the body of Jesus been tampered with? They entered the tomb, seeking the body of their Lord. They looked for something that does not belong in a tomb. They were convinced that the body of Jesus must be found in this tomb and they were very perplexed when they did not find his body here.
They had expected that his body would stay for many days and gradually decompose and so they had brought their spices and ointments.
But instead of a dead body, the women found two live men dressed in clothes that gleamed like lightning. They were angels, messengers of the Lord Most High! And they asked the women how they could be looking for the living One among the dead. Did the women really expect the Son of God, the long awaited Messiah from heaven to remain in the tomb, the place of the dead, forever? Could death conquer the One who has the springs of eternal life, the One who gives such life to those who believe in Him? Of course not! What a ridiculous idea!
Jesus Christ lives! He continues to live also today and cannot be found among the dead. We have never seen Him and do not see Him now, but nevertheless He lives. Death could not hold Him because He has won the complete victory over the powers of darkness and the evil one when He died on the cross. The death that He suffered was for the sake of our sins. He did not die because of his own sins, for He never committed any sin. He was holy and blameless and therefore He did not belong among the dead and should not have been sought among the dead. Jesus Christ is the living One and because of his life, we may also share in his rich benefits, the forgiveness of our sins and life everlasting.
Excerpt from Clarion, THE CANADIAN REFORMED MAGAZINE Volume 54, No. 6, pg. 129, March 11, 2005
Rev. S.C.Van Dam is minister of the Canadian Reformed Church at Houston, B.C.