Summary: We celebrate Easter and the resurrection of Jesus. However, what makes Easter great is that it gives us hope for our resurrection . . . right now! Jesus looks for the dead among the living so that He can unbury them!
At the crack of dawn on Sunday, the women came to the tomb carrying the burial spices they had prepared. They found the entrance stone rolled back from the tomb, so they walked in. But once inside, they couldn’t find the body of the Master Jesus. They were puzzled, wondering what to make of this. Then, out of nowhere it seemed, two men, light cascading over them, stood there. The women were awestruck and bowed down in worship. The men said, “Why are you looking for the Living One in a cemetery? He is not here, but raised up.
And as they were afraid and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen!
II. The Flip
It is Easter morning! It is one of the three most important days in the history of mankind. The first the day He was born. The second the day He died. The third the day He separated Himself from every other person who has ever claimed to be a savior, a messiah, or from God. Even if church, religion, God isn't your thing you probably know the story. At least in this country it is hard to escape the information. Can you ignore it . . . yes? Escape it? No. On the third day, after His gruesome and undeserved crucifixion, Jesus is resurrected and walks back onto the scene! However, this morning I have read to you the immediate aftermath of the event. I want to focus on that for a few minutes because I believe it reveals an incredible flip that we must see.
Jesus' closest friends and followers are still mourning what they have witnessed. They are still battling grief and the shock of His death. Their friend, their savior, the king, the miracle worker, the life changer, the One who held all their hopes, dreams, and belief has been taken from them. They long to show and pay their respects and so they make their way to His borrowed tomb. Upon arrival they find the stone is rolled away and His body is gone. They fear that the government has stepped in and desecrated this gentle man even further by stealing His body. They step into the tomb and instead of Jesus they find two other individuals that on retrospect we know were angels. The angels address them with a question that contains the flip! "Why do you seek the living among the dead?"
This question reveals that Jesus is no longer dead. This question slaps them awake and forces them to realize something is up! This questions shakes them from their stupor to an understanding that Jesus was indeed who He said He was. And as much as this question revealed to them about that moment this question also reveals the incredible difference between us and Jesus.
They were so caught up with and focused on death that they missed the life. Jesus is equally caught up with death but so that He can bring life.
Let me say it like this . . . they went to enhance burial (apply spices to cover the smell - isn't that what we do? We try to make death/destruction/sin more acceptable.). They didn't go to stop death. They didn't go to change death. They went to sweeten it! We specialize in making burial more comfortable and palatable.
Jesus specializes in undoing burial. Jesus unburies! And therein lies the flip!
We look for living among the dead. Jesus looks for the dead among the living.
We ignore those around us that are dying and gravitate to those who are alive. We look for the charismatic, the up and coming, the "have it all together" folks, the life of the party people. However, Scripture makes it abundantly clear that God and Jesus are looking for the dead among the living! That was and continues to be their focus.
I could take you into the Old Testament and show you that God was constantly on the lookout for the dead among the living . . .
This is revealed in David's declarations in Psalm 34! God is close to those who are broken hearted and crushed in spirit! God drawn closest to those in pain and those demolished by life. We see God's heart in the story of Jonah. Jonah wanted to bury! Kill them all God. God wanted to unbury and bring life.
In the New Testament, we are confronted with the fact that Jesus is on a search and rescue mission! He even begins His public ministry with the declaration that "I am here to bring good news to those who are poor, bring sight to the blind, heal the brokenhearted, and set the captive free."