After the sabbath day, the women took spices to the tomb where Jesus had been laid, so they could anoint their Lord’s body, as was their tradition. Only, when they arrived, they saw the tomb stone had been moved, and, as they wandered around, two angels appeared (‘two men in clothes that gleamed like lightening’) and stood beside them. The angels said to the women, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; He has risen!”
This scripture is often related to Easter time and, as we are approaching this time of year, I am reminded of it again, though I know this is not just for Easter. I am also reminded of my first Easter service as a Christian. When I entered my church the pastor and the worship band were all wearing suits. This immediately caught my attention. This was not a ‘Sunday best’ type of church, and yet there they were all dressed up as if they were going to a wedding or a special occasion. The pastor started by saying this was his favourite time of year, so much more than Christmas and the only time he ever wore his suit. Throughout his sermon, he shouted across the church several times, “Jesus is alive! Jesus is alive! Jesus is alive!” After about the fifth time, it started to sink into my spirit, and by the tenth time my spirit was doing somersaults. I got it! It was so exciting!
Of course, I knew the Easter story before I entered the church that day, but I had never thought about it in this way. Because Jesus had risen from the dead, it means He is alive today. It had never been fed into my spirit in the present tense. The message was not just for Easter, but every day. Jesus is alive today.
Whenever I read this passage in Luke, the question the angels ask the women, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?” always “Do we sometimes look for other things, worldly things, dead things in the hope they will lift our spirit?”
How then do we find the living Jesus in our ‘run of the mill’ days? How do we find the living Jesus when we watch the news? Or when we are in the supermarket? Or when we are sinned against? Where is He at these times?
We know from the stories of Israel from the Old Testament. How easy it is to find comfort in dead things. They did not have the many choices we have today. Today, however, we have the blessing of hindsight, we have God’s word both the old and the new covenant.
I do not claim to know the Bible amazingly well, but we can look for scripture that feeds our spirit. We can underline it. We can learn it off by heart. We can put reminders around our homes. We can meditate on it. We can sing while we do the washing. We can pray when we drive to the shops. We can admire His creation while we stand waiting for the bus. And we can encourage one another. We can look for the living Jesus in our everyday lives, even in the smallest of ways.
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