Why do you look for the living among the dead?

Scripture Passage Luke 24:5-6, In their fright the women bowed down with 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; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee:

The foundation/base of christian faith is resurrection of Christ and empty tomb. John 11:25, 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;… In the last verses of Luke chapter 23, we read that the women prepared perfumes to embalm the body of Jesus, Luke 23:56, 56 Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment. These women were: Luke 24:10, 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. When the disciples who had pledged not to leave Jesus’s side were hiding behind locked doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders. These women were preparing to go to the tomb all alone. But the three women were not able to embalm the body of Christ with perfumes and spices. They had reached the tomb with the satisfaction that they would be able to do the least for Him, even if after His death. They had to overcome many obstacles in the way. Like roman soldiers who stood guard at the tomb, a huge boulder at the mouth of the tomb which was difficult to move by most people. It was impossible for them to try and move it away from the mouth of the tomb. But the love of Christ was such that it drove them towards to tomb filled with passion for Christ.

What they saw at the tomb was beyond their expectation. The rock was not there at the mouth of the tomb. It was rolled away. The tomb was empty. Not knowing what had happened, they got confused and felt broken hearted. Just then two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. Luke 24:5-7, In their fright the women bowed down with 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; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words. We can believe that the angels were sent by the Heavenly Father to share the Good News of resurrection to all those who come seeking Him at the tomb. The women rushed to share the Good News with the disciples.

Sometimes, we too like these women seek our Saviour among the dead and are lamenting for Him. We forget His message of joy and victory which He declared with His resurrection and that He will come back again. Jesus is not resting in the tomb.He is living. He is living among us. We should not be people without hope. 1 Thessalonians 4: 13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

In the gospel of John we read this in another manner. John 20:1,20 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. To go to the tomb of her Lord who gave her new life and transformed her, Mary was not hindered or felt afraid of the dark or the roman soldiers. When she reached the tomb, she saw it was empty. She thought that someone had stolen His body. So she informed the disciples who too reached the tomb and saw the empty tomb. The disciples went back to their room. But she stood there crying in pain. John 20:11-16, 11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. 15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).

She then goes on to inform the Good News to disciples,

John 20: 17-18,17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

Even though the others had returned back on seeing the empty tomb, Mary Magdalene stayed back not knowing where to ask about the Lord. The love and adoration she had for her Lord did not let her go away from there. What we lack is this. We seek him with devotion, but when we do not hear from Him, we too like disciples go away from Him. Mary stood there crying, all alone. She received the reward for this, she bore first witness to the resurrected Christ and got to share the Good News with others. Even today the Lord appears in some form or the other who seek Him and call Him with full faith and devotion. Those who recognize Him are blessed.

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