Big Questions, Important Answers: Why Seek the Living Among the Dead?

Ever had that moment when you’re looking for something and you just can’t see it.  Like the car keys sitting on the counter that you’ve looked at 100 times. Or like the invisible the can of beans that was just behind the can of crushed pineapple. Last weekend my kids and grandkids were all home for a visit.  Mackenzie and I were playing with a stuffed beany type skunk.  Throwing it back and forth and stuff like that.  A little later she was looking for the skunk but couldn’t find it.  The thing is it was sitting in plain sight on my knee.   Sometimes we can’t find what we are looking for because we’re looking in the expected but wrong places. Finding things in the kitchen is sometimes as much of a mystery to me as it is for Betty to find things in the tool chest. Missing the visible and looking in the wrong places is what this article’s big question is about.

The setting is the garden tomb on resurrection morning.  Luke records it this way,  “But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling clothing; and as the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living One among the dead? “He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.” And they remembered His words,” (Luke 24:1–8, NASB95)   The angel’s question, why do you seek the living among the dead, is the big question.  It is interesting that the angels had an expectation.  At first blush it seems to be an unfair question, how could the women know that Jesus had risen from the dead.  I don’t think that the angels expected them to know something in the empirical and scientific sense but in the way that faith knows something. Jesus had foretold what was going to happen, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised up on the third day.” (Luke 9:22, NASB95)  The angel’s question expected faith in the words and promises of Jesus.

Why do you look for the living among the dead?  There are so many applications of this question to our lives that its a little overwhelming.  How often do we seek answers in the wrong places?  Such as interpreting the Word of God by our world instead of interpreting the world through the Word of God.  Or running to person after person, spilling our problems on each one, hoping for an answer but receiving none that we like instead of seeking for Jesus and His guidance on the matter. Or seeing the decay of society we attempt to fight fire with fire, looking to wage cultural war on an even footing by trying to change the thinking of others, instead of fighting God’s war God’s way so that He can change their hearts. Where do you turn for answers?  When you’ve had an ugly day do you turn to something or someone other than God to find solace? It is the same as looking for the living among the dead.  Instead, it’s time to begin looking with the eyes of faith. Grandpa Ray’s favorite verse was “Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5–6, NASB95)  I don’t know where or how you’ve been looking in the wrong places for answers to the problems and conflicts of life.  The Holy Spirit can show you if you ask.  In this cynical age, we, as followers of Jesus, must begin to see with the eyes of faith, looking to Jesus in all things, and follow His lead even when it does not make sense.

Dale Heinold
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