Luke 24: 4-6
5 The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground,
but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?
He is not here, but has risen.
6 Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee,
The Easter morning story opens with grief and shock, emotions we are familiar with. The women rise early to go anoint the body of Jesus crucified in front of them and laid in a tomb. Grief is an appropriate response to brutality and death. They arrive to find the tomb open, the body gone, and two strange men there. Shock is an appropriate emotional response to extreme surprise. The men ask the women a question, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember.” Might we ask, “Where are we looking for Jesus today?” and “What must we remember?”
The angels confirm reality. The grave is empty. But they give an alternate explanation. Christ is risen. The meaning of that is still not understood but a new lens has been presented for understanding reality. Lazarus rose but returned to normal life. Jesus raised other seemingly dead children and they resumed normal life. What does “risen” really mean?
The angels also refer the women to prophecy. A resurrection was predicted and Jesus himself told them it would happen but they had not understood. Remember those experiences and conversations. They were so convinced Jesus was bringing political revolution that they were not looking for a death and resurrection. Sometimes we are so set in what we expect that we are blinded to other options. For those of us who did not marry that spouse we were so convinced was “the right person,” we were crushed and heart broken and had to reorganize our lives. We might have cried when our first choice of college did not come through. The women “bow their faces to the ground” in a stance of prayer and the angels tell them not to look at the ground but look at prophecy, look up from the dead to the living. The angels offer a new explanation and a new perspective.
Some of us love testimonials as people talk about an encounter with Jesus. Others of us love to read Scripture. To many music speaks to them of Jesus and nature inspires many. Jesus can speak to us through many places today but he cannot be found among the dead. Sometimes we face experiences that bring deep grief, disappointment, and surprise. It is often as we bow that our faith gives us a new perspective and hope. Perhaps we can thank God who walked beside us through rough times and helped us understand our experience differently and let us pray that we can be people who bring hope and light to others walking through times of despair! Blessings. He is risen and we are learning what that means.