Names of Christ: Who do you say that I am?
24 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they went in, they did not find the body.[a] 4 While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them. 5 The women[b] were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men[c] said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.[d] 6 Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.” 8 Then they remembered his words, 9 and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. 12 But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; then he went home, amazed at what had happened.[e]
Where do we look for Jesus?
In our quest to encounter the Lord of our lives, do we Christians flock to graveyards? That’s where the disciples went on Easter morning. But they heard some good news about expanding their search.
“He is not here. He is risen.” Those were words to the followers of Jesus on that first Easter morning. They had come to the tomb to finish the task of burying their friend and Lord Jesus. They had come to mourn. They thought that they would have to go to where his lifeless body lay if they wanted to see their Lord again. And yet their mourning turned to joy.
Because of the empty tomb, where do we look for Jesus?
I guess we should be clear that because of the empty tomb, we Christians aren’t afraid of graveyards. We actually have a columbarium as a part of our Memorial Garden at the church. And we often find comfort repeating the words of Jesus at the graveside. Jesus is the Lord of our lives, and all parts of our lives. But, we don’t have to limit our search to a cemetery to encounter our Lord.
We can find Jesus as we share the joy in a celebration of life; a wedding, a baptism, a birthday, a graduation. Jesus loved the joyful times of life.
We can find Jesus in the times of quiet solitude. As we are still and know that God is God, in mountains, at the beach, on the back porch at sunrise or sunset, we can remember that Jesus often craved the lonely place for prayer and reflection.
We can find Jesus wherever life leads us. That’s what it means to serve a living Lord.
“He is not here (at the tomb where his enemies tried to send Him). He is risen.” And our lives are to be lived with Him.
Thank You, God, for showing us that in the risen Christ, life is full of promise. Help us to live each day hoping to encounter Jesus, our living Lord. Amen.