“But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, ‘Why do you seek the living among the dead?'” (Luke 24:1-5, ESV).
What an excellent question. Why do we look for life among death?
It wasn’t just these ladies who went to the tomb. We all do it. We look for answers, for meaning, for life, and we always look first in places that only bring death.
We look to money. Maybe we think, in a roundabout way, that we can buy our way into heaven by giving a lot of money in tithes or to charities. At the very least, we think it’ll provide us with enough happiness and opportunities down here that we’ll be considered blessed, that others will envy us. Maybe that’s true, but those blessings pale in the light of God’s love and blessings.
Success won’t earn us a place in heaven either. It’s not like there’s an all-star team that God selects only the best for. We all want to be successful in our own ways, by our own definitions, at our own things, and we think that will afford us a lot. Contentment, inner peace, the affection of others. But success doesn’t fulfill us. Only God does.
We turn to other people. We put friends, spouses, celebrities, other humans on pedistals and expect that sort of love to give us what we’re looking for. We long for their attention and strive to make them happy, often hoping they’ll have this same love for us. That is a kind of love, but not a redeeming love. It’ll provide no enduring sense of salvation for us, let alone actual salvation. For that we need the love of God.
We try all these things and so many more, but they’ll always end in death. None of them provide us with life or life everlasting. We’re all searching, but unless we’re searching within God, we’re looking for life among the dead.
The gateway to God, this ability to search Him for whatever we’re looking for is possible because Jesus wasn’t there when the women came to His tomb that day. “‘Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen…'” (Luke 24:5-6, ESV).
He had risen, and He still is risen. He’s alive to give us life, to give us all the things we search this world over for. If we’re looking for life, we should look where there is life, and as the empty tomb tells us, that is Jesus.
By Carrie Prevette