THE WAY THAT LEADS TO LIFE - PART 7
Sunday, April 21, 2019
Luke 9:35, 24:1-8
The women were frightened and bowed their faces toward the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?
Christ is Risen! Christ is Risen Indeed!
So why do we live as though he is still in the grave?
Before you get too defensive and reaffirm your absolute belief in the Resurrection of Jesus, take a few minutes to stop and think about what that belief means for your life? What impact has it had on any part of your day? How about yesterday or last week?
If we sat down with someone who knows you well and asked them if they had encountered the risen Christ this week, would they mention your name and say that whether they believe in Jesus or not, they encountered his loving presence in you?
Even as a pastor, I must confess with grief and sorrow that I often find Christians to be some of the most depressing people to be around. I am not exempt from this. There are many times that the battles in the church overwhelm me with discouragement, skepticism and despair. There are times I wonder if the Holy Spirit has just moved on from what we call “The body of Christ”
As Casting Crowns so eloquently asks,
If we are the body, why aren't his arms reaching? Why aren't his hands healing? Why aren't his words teaching? And if we are the body, why aren't his feet going? Why is his love not showing them there is a way there is a way?
Mark Hall, “If We Are The Body” (2003).
Many religious leaders of Jesus’ day could not accept that the power of God manifested itself in places beyond their reach. The sick were healed and sinners were forgiven all without their blessing or authority. The active work of God’s living presence outside of their boundaries called their own superficial faith into question. Jesus even went so far as to call them whitewashed tombs, dead and decaying on the inside (Matthew 23:27-28). While they saw themselves as guardians of the Law or the Word of God, the true Word was alive and active in the parts of the world they assumed were broken and dying.
Why are we looking for the living among the dead?
We are not exempt from Jesus’ question. Many churches are filled with the death and decay of hurting souls, but as Christians we have invested so much in whitewash that we have forgotten that our beautiful buildings and services are often little more than facades so that nobody will see the brokenness within.
How many Sunday’s do we walk out of church feeling as miserable and overwhelmed with life as we were when we walked in? How often do we wonder where Jesus is in our everyday struggles or in the monotony of our ordinary lives?
Might the Lord’s messengers be asking us the same question: Why are you looking for the living among the dead?
Therefore, if you were raised with Christ, look for the things that are above where Christ is sitting at God’s right side. Think about the things above and not things on earth. You died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.
The stone has been rolled away. Let us take off our burial clothes of sin and walk out of our self-inflicted tombs into the light of glory through the resurrection of the firstborn from the dead, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
Video clips from today’s service: