The women who waited on Jesus during his lifetime (Luke 8:2-3) came to clean his body, to anoint him and to dress his corpse for burial. All the burial preparations on the day of his death were done quickly. Even the tomb where he had been laid was used because it was close by (John 19:41-42). When they arrived at the grave site, the appearance of the tomb was not what they had expected. The stone had been removed from the opening of the tomb, and when they looked into the sepulcher the body of Jesus was no longer there (Luke 24:3)! As the women wondered over these things, two angels stood with them and asked, “Why do you seek the Living among the dead” (Luke 24:4-5)? They reminded the women of what Jesus told them earlier in Galilee concerning his death and resurrection (Luke 24:6-8). Then they remembered his words and ran to tell the disciples and everyone else!
Jesus is not my dead hero. He is not a martyr who headed up a great cause and was killed. As I endeavor to live out my spiritual life day by day in this material world, I sometimes lose focus of the fact that I serve a Living Savior. I do not mean to say that at times I think Jesus is dead and need his resurrection proved to me over and over. I am saying that I sometimes seek to serve God in my flesh. I get in the rut of doing the same things and expecting to find everything just as I have always found them before. I think of the monumental tasks ahead and wonder how it can ever be done (Luke 24:2) and confusion becomes the fruit of the day (Luke 24:4; cf. 1Corinthians 14:33). In the midst of all this comes the realization that I’ve been acting as though Jesus isn’t present with me. I seek to serve the Living One while walking among the dead. Jesus is alive but is not always as I expect him to be. This is why I need to keep his words in my heart (Luke 24:6-8). There is encouragement and wisdom in the word of God. If I dwell in his Word, I won’t be confused.
I am to reckon my old man as dead with the death of Christ (Romans 6:6), but I am to see myself alive to God (Romans 6:8-10). My whole way of thinking has to be changed, because serving my old man, i.e. performing his thoughts, always leads to sin and shame (Romans 6:19-21). Today I am to let the mind of Christ rule my thoughts (Philippians 2:5), so that the works of God would be manifest through me (John 9:3; cf. John 15:1-7). The only work of God that I am called to do is to trust Jesus (John 6:28-29). Following his lead (Philippians 2:5), I am to work out my own salvation, looking to God or trusting Jesus to be the One working in me both the desire and the power to do his will (Philippians 2:12-13). Rationalization has its place in my life, but knowing what steps to take comes by faith or trust in Christ’s leadership not my own ability to rationalize the will of God (Proverbs 14:12; Jeremiah 10:23; 17:9). I must learn to trust the Life of Christ to work righteousness in and through me. I am not on my own!
All things are new to me now (2Corinthians 5:17). I must not try to think of man or God in the same way as I had before I was awakened by him (John 11:11; cf. 2Corinthians 5:15-16). Therefore, I must not look for Jesus among the dead (Luke 24:5). If the work is difficult (Luke 24:2), I must not seek to draw strength among those who are dead, that is to say, those without Christ’s life (2Corinthians 5:14; cf. 1Peter 4:1-6). No matter how capable the flesh may appear to be, difficult spiritual problems cannot be solved by partnering with the strength of talented men (Romans 8:8; cf. Luke 24:5). The work of God can be done only through trusting Jesus (John 6:28-29). Only when I remember the word of God (Luke 24:8) am I able to leave the dead and speak the spiritual things of God (Luke 24:9).