“Why do you seek the living One among the dead?”
Luke 23:44-24:12 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45 because the sun was obscured; and the veil of the temple was torn in two. 46 And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” Having said this, He breathed His last. 47 Now when the centurion saw what had happened, he began praising God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent.” 48 And all the crowds who came together for this spectacle, when they observed what had happened, began to return, beating their breasts. 49 And all His acquaintances and the women who accompanied Him from Galilee were standing at a distance, seeing these things.
50 And a man named Joseph, who was a member of the Council, a good and righteous man 51 (he had not consented to their plan and action), a man from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who was waiting for the kingdom of God; 52 this man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53 And he took it down and wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid Him in a tomb cut into the rock, where no one had ever lain. 54 It was the preparation day, and the Sabbath was about to begin. 55 Now the women who had come with Him out of Galilee followed, and saw the tomb and how His body was laid. 56 Then they returned and prepared spices and perfumes.
And on the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.
24 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling clothing; 5 and as the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living One among the dead? 6 He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, 7 saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.” 8 And they remembered His words, 9 and returned from the tomb and reported all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 Now they were Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James; also the other women with them were telling these things to the apostles. 11 But these words appeared to them as nonsense, and they would not believe them. 12 But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings only; and he went away to his home, marveling at what had happened.
Have you ever misplaced or lost something and in your looking for it continued to look in the same place over and over? If indeed you looked thoroughly the first time, it will not be there any of the subsequent times, yet often we tend to persist in our fruitless searching. In today’s text it says: But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling clothing; and as the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living One among the dead? He is not here, but He has risen. There was and is no point in continuing to look for Jesus in death. He was not there, He is alive.
Romans 6:1-7 says: What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. Our old self was crucified with Him. We are free from sin. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says: Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Why is it that we so often return to the graveyard? Why do we dig up the things which have been crucified and buried? Romans 1:8-15 continues: Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace. God’s grace does not free us to sin, but rather from sin. If we are walking with Christ, in resurrection newness of life, we should not be returning to the things which are dead and which cause death. Romans 6:22-23 says: But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. If we have been given freedom and life, why would we choose bondage, sin and death? Why do we return to the graveyard seeking the things of death?
This same principle applies also to everything else that we have been given and granted through the resurrection. When Jesus was on the cross He said, “It is finished!” (John 19:30) Everything that Jesus came to do was complete, finished in the cross. When He was raised from the grave He never needed to do anything more to complete the work He came to do. In Luke 4:17-21, when Jesus began His ministry, began His work on earth, it says: the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are oppressed, To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” That’s what Jesus came to do. That’s what is complete and finished in the cross. Isaiah 53:5 says: But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. In the same way that we are freed from sin through the cross and the resurrection so too are we freed from anything which may oppress us. So too are we healed by what He endured. Our healing is finished and complete. It is already fully accomplished in the heavenly realm. Sometimes we don’t fully see the manifestation of what already is. Sometimes we continue to struggle with what was. Jesus taught us to pray, Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. In heaven, surely there is no sin, no oppression, no sickness. In Luke 17:21 Jesus says: “Behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” Behold, look at it, see it as it is, the kingdom of God, the kingdom of heaven is within us. We possess everything that Jesus accomplished in the finished work of the cross. “Why do you seek the living One among the dead?” Leave what is old and dead in the grave and walk with Christ, free from sin, free from oppression free from everything that He overcame for us on the cross. Walk in what is alive with Christ!
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit I am thankful that You are alive, that there is no reason to remain at the grave. Everything You came to do is finished, complete through the cross. Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven, even within me. Amen.