The women were terrified and bowed 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, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.” Then they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest.
Lk 24:5–9 NRSV
Do we look for Jesus in the tomb still?
Do we look for his body as proof of his death? Are we looking for a martyred savior? Are we continually looking only at the cross in our worship of Jesus?
The divine messengers were sent to wait at the empty tomb for the women that first Easter morning. They had one message: He is alive! They said to the women, “Why are you looking for the living in the place of the dead?” I think they say that message to us today. Are we looking for a dead Jesus, or are we looking for a living Lord?
A living Lord means that we encounter him today, in our everyday. It means that were birds chirp and flowers bloom, there we can find Jesus. It means where there are storms, doubt, and chaos, there we can find Jesus. It means that where we are, there he is, calling our name, showing us the resurrection before our very eyes.
Yes, our God is the Crucified messiah, and yes he did die. But he does not remain dead. He does not remain on the cross. We would do well to search for Jesus in the land of the living, not the places of the dead. After all, doesn’t Jesus want to lead us out of the places of the dead, out of our own tomb, out of the grave?
The resurrection is our hope, our hope of new life, of the new creation. The resurrection is our justification. The resurrection is our salvation made true. Look for Christ in the resurrection, not in the grave. Love and life have swallowed up the grave. Our Lord beat back death. Christ is victorious, and Jesus lives today.
“Christ the Lord is risen today!”