Lesson Five • Resurrection Clothes

Devotion #2: Living Among the Dead?

Pastor Ryan Story

On the morning of our Lord’s resurrection, three women went to the tomb of Jesus. They went to the tomb that belonged to Joseph of Arimathea. When the women arrived, they were met with the unexpected. First of all, the closed tomb was now open because somehow the heavy stone was rolled away. Secondly, the body of Jesus was no longer there. Thirdly, the moment the women went into the tomb two men in “dazzling apparel” appeared before them (Luke 24:4). Luke 24:5-8 reads, “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? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.’ And they remembered his words.”

The angel’s question has been something I have been pondering, “Why do we look for the living among the dead?” I feel too often we look for the amazing power of Christ in dead things such as religious traditionalism, human effort, man’s rules and regulations, and man’s creative ingenuity. None of those have the power to save, and yet we hold on to those dead things as if they give us life and purpose. I love my effort. I am a man who tries hard in most areas of my life. However, no effort I ever put in will help my marriage grow. I love my rules, but none of those will change my children’s hearts. Maybe you can relate, but so often I have the urge to cling to dead things and hope they bring about a godly change.

In reality, the only thing that brings change is the resurrection of Jesus. At the center of the Gospel is the fact that Jesus did not remain dead. Death could not hold Jesus. At this moment, because Jesus went from death to life, when I put my faith in Christ’s work on the cross, so can you and I.

The three women who visited the grave on the morning of Christ’s resurrection were doing the same thing I tend to do. They were looking for the dead. They had the traditional spices, and if they somehow managed to figure out how to roll the stone away they would have tended to the aromatic offensiveness of the post-mortem body of Jesus. Their original plan was to do so and go on with their life. However, on this day the living would not be found among the dead. The moment they saw the stone rolled away, went into the tomb, and the angels proclaimed Christ’s resurrection a light went on. At that moment, the women “remembered His words” and “told all these things” (Luke 24:8-9). The resurrection of Jesus was what brought the change.