Summary: A closer look at the resurrection of Christ.
Sunday – “Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places”
5th in a series on “Passion Week”
Cynthia Thomas tells a story about her “brother and his new wife who were escorted to their bridal suite in an elegant hotel in the wee hours of the morning. They were tired from the many hours at their wedding reception and from mingling with their guests. They took a look around their room, taking in the sofa, chairs, and table. But where was the bed? This was the bridal suite…Right? Then they discovered the sofa was a hide-a-bed, complete with lumpy mattress and springs sagging to the floor. Cynthia’s brother and his new wife spent a fitful night on the hide-a-bed, waking up with sore backs.
“The next morning, the new husband went to the hotel desk and gave the management a tongue-lashing for giving them such a terrible room for the bridal suite.
“‘Did you open the door in the room?’ was the response.
“When he went back up to the room, he opened a door they had thought was a closet. There, complete with fruit baskets and chocolates, was a beautiful bedroom” (Edward K. Rowell &Leadership Journal, 1001 Quotes, Illustrations & Humorous Stories for Preachers, Teachers & Writers (Baker Books: Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1996, 1997), 469).
Too often we live lives of mediocrity. We are content with the status quo. We aren’t stirred much by the news because it honestly doesn’t affect us all that much; and we’re content and comfortable when things remain the same. We don’t expect much out of life, but rather live with the mundane trappings of mediocre success that our world defines as “normal.”
We, like the new husband and wife, live in a room with tables and chairs and a pull-out bed. And the church in our culture is content to rest on a lumpy mattress of indifference and apathy, rather than open the door of possibility that would forever change our lives for the better. And you’d think we would have learned by now. You’d think that we would have remembered the promises Christ gave us. You’d think we would live with the present reality of the risen Christ. You’d think that we would celebrate the fact that our sins are forgiven through the cross of Calvary, and that we have eternal life if we believe in Christ.
But, nothing is new under the sun. We celebrate today as the day that Christ rose from the dead. We celebrate this Easter Sunday as a day that Jesus actually did what he said he would do. But as we see in our reading today, even the disciples and followers of Christ missed it. They had forgotten what Jesus had told them. They had forgotten what they had given up and who they were following for the past three years. They had disregarded the joy of celebration and anticipation on that Sunday morning and were content to just live with the defeat of Friday. They had no expectations; they had flat-lined, they were sorrow-filled, and they were devastated. They had neglected to look through the closed door of promise into the empty tomb of redemption. Read with me Luke’s account of that one Sunday…
Luke 24:1-12 (NLT)
But very early on Sunday morning the women came to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared.  They found that the stone covering the entrance had been rolled aside.  So they went in, but they couldn't find the body of the Lord Jesus.  They were puzzled, trying to think what could have happened to it. Suddenly, two men appeared to them, clothed in dazzling robes.  The women were terrified and bowed low before them. Then the men asked, "Why are you looking in a tomb for someone who is alive?  He isn't here! He has risen from the dead! Don't you remember what he told you back in Galilee,  that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again the third day?"
 Then they remembered that he had said this.  So they rushed back to tell his eleven disciples—and everyone else—what had happened.  The women who went to the tomb were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and several others. They told the apostles what had happened,  but the story sounded like nonsense, so they didn't believe it.  However, Peter ran to the tomb to look. Stooping, he peered in and saw the empty linen wrappings; then he went home again, wondering what had happened.
Why hadn’t they remembered? What kept them from believing? Why were they looking for the living among the dead?
Just as the women and disciples had to understand, we too must understand that Jesus is not dead; he is alive and well. The problem is that many of us act as if we’re going to his tomb to worship him, rather than to the thrown-room of grace! We come as mourners to a funeral, when we should be coming as people to a celebration.