Easter 2017. Resurrection Sunday. He is Risen! He is Risen, Indeed!
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. Remember how He told you when you were still back in Galilee that He had to be handed over to sinners, be killed on a cross, and in three days rise up?” Then they remembered Jesus’ words. (Luke 24: 1-8 MsgB)
I appreciate the fact that apparently in heaven, sarcastic humor is considered a spiritual gift.
Here in the midst of the greatest story ever told, our two angel friends just can’t help throwing a bit of sarcastic humor into the mix.
Somehow I think in heaven, the word has spread on how goofy and unreliable the human existence actually is when given the straight facts. These angels, for example, know full well that every word that comes out of the mouth of God is true. Totally reliable. A done deal.
So when Jesus, the Son of that same reliable and trustworthy God, says He will have to go to Jerusalem, die on a cross, and then after three days will rise again; if you’re an angel, apparently you know full well that you can take those words to the bank.
Thus the little wise crack here that pokes a bit of fun at these poor, confused human beings who are searching in a cemetery for any signs of life!
“Why in the world are you here looking for life? Doesn’t anybody down here know better than to look for someone living in a cemetery! Oy vey!
I can almost detect a bit of Jewish accent in these angels as they talk, winking an eye to one another, wondering to themselves when these thick-headed human beings on the planet will finally get a clue.
Hey, guess what gang? When Jesus speaks something, He really means it!
And so it goes.
For thousands of years now, we humans have our unique ways of living life outside of our ability to trust whatever God says.
Jesus, for example, in the gospels tells us with certainty that He has come to bring us life, and life to the full. In other places in God’s Word, we find that any life lived outside of the magnificent presence of God is much less than full life, and in most cases, death, itself.
Yet we humans so easily ignore these powerful words of promise and spend so much of our valuable time here on earth searching for life in cemeteries and looking for love in all the wrong places!
No wonder these two angels seem a bit sarcastic when they find these close friends of Jesus turning over moldy gravestones in a cemetery, looking for the Living Christ.
You know, now that I think about it, it does look a bit foolish doesn’t it? I guess I can see why these angelic beings are just a bit amused at how backward thinking we humans can be sometimes. Maybe if we’d just listen to God a bit more carefully and actually believe and act on what He says, we’d spend much less time in cemeteries and much more time in God’s presence, where real life is found.
Makes me wonder if I might want to re-evaluate all of what Jesus says and take it just a bit more seriously, don’t you think?
My prayer: Lord, I’m struck at the sad truth these angels speak to us human beings as we are found wandering aimlessly in cemeteries looking for life. Holy Spirit, empower me to be stronger in my belief and ability to believe that if God speaks, I can trust it to be true. I believe, Jesus, but help me in my unbelief. For Your name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to ponder: How am I like these friends of Jesus, wandering hopelessly and aimlessly in a cemetery looking for the Living One? Where have I allowed grief, worries or unbelief to cause me to forget the promises found in Jesus’ words? How can I step out of life’s cemeteries and begin looking for life in God’s presence instead?
So, what is the Spirit of God whispering to you on this Resurrection Sunday?