Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of Jesus, Joanna and other women who loved Jesus looked for Him in a place where He was not to be found. Against their expectations, He had moved on. They discovered (by ways of a perhaps slightly ironic question posed by an angel) that Jesus was, in fact, not dead and entombed, but very much alive and roaming around!
These women may have been looking in the wrong place for Jesus, but at least they were looking! It wasn’t that they did not love Him, but that they were misinformed. We too can be looking for Jesus in the wrong places, due to a misunderstanding on our part. What might these places be in our case?
As Jesus is very much alive, and very much active, we should expect Him to be continually ‘on the move’, so to speak. For us that means that we cannot coast on historic experiences with Him. If we want to stay connected to Jesus, we must come to Him afresh every single day.
To maintain a living connection with Him we are in need of two things. First of all, we need to be reading His Word. Even though the books of the Bible were written many centuries ago, their words still speak to us today. Because the Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit it is forever ‘living and active’ (Hebrews 4:12). Each time we read the Bible we have opportunity to receive afresh from the living God.
My personal temptation is to spend too much time reading books about the Bible. This in itself, of course, is not wrong, but it is wrong when doing so starts replacing reading the Bible. For others it may not be books, but sermons, Christian YouTube clips or Podcasts that start to replace time spent in God’s Word.
Secondly, we need the presence of the Holy Spirit in our daily walk. God’s mercies are new every morning. That means that what God gave us for yesterday will not carry us today. He has made it so that we are dependent on an ongoing, daily connection with Him. Here my personal temptation is to think if I had a good day walking with God yesterday, then I might manage today without coming to Him for His help. This faulty thinking can lead to falling behind the curve of what God is doing today.
In a slightly wider context, we need to seek God for what He is doing in the world in our time. He is the same as He has always been and will work according to the principles laid out in His word. But this does not mean that He will fulfil His plans in exactly the same way as He has done before. He is the God of new things and He desires for us to be moving in step with Him.
I love the phrase in the old hymn, ‘Praise to the Lord, the Almighty’, which says, ‘Ponder anew, what the Almighty can do’. Let us look with fresh expectation for Jesus, not in the things of yesterday, but in His living Word and in a fresh experience with Him today.
Prayer: Lord, I am sorry if I too have looked for the living among the dead, if I have lived as if You are not living, but dead, and if I have lived as if You are only the God of yesterday. Give me a fresh experience of You today, I pray. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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