Luke 24:1-12 NLT But very early on Sunday morning the women came to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. They found that the stone covering the entrance had been rolled aside. So they went in, but they couldn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus. They were puzzled, trying to think what could have happened to it. Suddenly, two men appeared to them, clothes in dazzling robes. The women were terrified and bowed low before them. Then the men asked, “Why are you looking in a tomb for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He has risen from the dead! Don’t you remember what he told you back in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again the third day?” Then they remembered that he had said this. So they rushed back to tell his eleven disciples—and everyone else—what had happened. The women who went to the tomb were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and several others. They told the apostles what had happened, but the story sounded like nonsense, so they didn’t believe it. However, Peter ran to the tomb to look. Stooping, he peered in and saw the empty linen wrappings; then he went home again, wondering what had happened.
Jesus had been crucified, buried in a borrowed tomb and the women came to anoint his body with spices to preserve it for it’s final resting place. What did they expect to find when they went to that tomb early that Sunday morning? It certainly wasn’t two heavenly angelic beings; it wasn’t an empty tomb! They had expected to find the body of Jesus in that tomb, cold and lifeless with no sign of hope. But instead the question that faced them early that morning was this: “Why are you looking in a tomb for someone who is alive?” The New King James Version says this: “Why do you seek the living among the dead?”
This morning that is the question that I want to present to you: “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” What is it in your life that needs resurrecting? Don’t camp out at an empty tomb waiting for life that is to be lived elsewhere. Jesus told Martha when Lazarus died that her brother would rise again in the resurrection. He said to her in John 11:25:
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. “And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
Christianity is the only religion that is infused with life! It is because Jesus lives that we can give our hearts to Him and experience His life within us. We serve a risen Savior! He is not dead! He is alive!
The hopes of those who had watched Jesus being crucified were dashed that day when they saw Him die on that old rugged cross! But then came the morning! Their darkness was turned into day when Jesus arose from that tomb early that Sunday morning! Life always seems the darkest just before the dawn. When our hopes have been dashed and we feel that all hope is gone we can turn to the One who gives new life. No other religion offers life after death! Every other religion worships a dead god, but our God is alive! He lives within us! He moves through us! He gives us His very own presence to breath new life into situations within our lives that need resurrecting.
The women that went to that tomb that morning were reminded that Jesus had told them of this happening so they would be prepared for the day of His crucifixion. He told them He would rise again, but they were so overcome with grief that they had forgotten His words of encouragement. How many times have you been discouraged so badly that you have lost sight of the Savior and His words of encouragement that were meant to offer you hope for a new tomorrow? When the ladies told the disciples of what they had seen and heard the disciples said their words seemed to them like idle tales, and they did not believe them. (Luke 24:11) Something is wrong when we believe the circumstances in our lives over the words of the Savior. He is the One who overcame death, hell and the grave and rose to new life! Does their seem to be something wrong with this picture? Day after day I see people who are resigned to life the way that it is and have given up hope in a better tomorrow. And yet, Jesus, our Savior and Lord was raised to new life that we might live; that we might experience the abundant life that He came to give us!
John 10:10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
The thief came to steal Jesus’ life that day. The devil thought he had won and had killed the King of Glory, but he was wrong! Then came the morning! When life seems to have be snuffed out, don’t look for new life in the place of the dead, turn to Jesus, the Life-Giver! He is the Resurrection and the Life! He offers abundance of life!
Abundantly – Greek word perissos – means superabundance, excessive, overflowing, surplus over and above, more than enough, profuse, extraordinary, above the ordinary, more than sufficient.
The life that Jesus offers His believers is an excessive, overflowing, more than sufficient life; a life filled with superabundance! He offers more than enough to meet your needs! His life is above the ordinary filled with surplus; profusely abundant!
Then came the morning!! You may be as the disciples were on that Sunday morning when they heard the news and said, “And their words seemed to them like idle tales, and they did not believe them.” You see, you can’t receive Jesus through an intellectual assent. You can’t understand Him with your mind; you must receive Him with your heart, by faith. Faith believes before it sees in the natural. The things of the Spirit must be received by faith. It’s impossible for a person to step inside another person to live within them and yet that’s what happens when a person receives Jesus into their heart to be their own personal Lord and Savior. He comes in by faith in the person of His Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ and is the one who steps inside your heart when you receive Jesus as Savior and Lord. It’s not a mental knowing that you have when you become born again; it is a spiritual encounter with the Living God; Spirit to spirit; His Spirit within yours. Can these other gods that people seek do that for them? Can they step into your spirit and live within you to offer you new life? No, the only one who can save you is Jesus! He is the One true God who is not dead, but alive within His believers. He is the One who walks and talks with His believers. Those other gods are dead gods, but Jesus is alive! He has risen!
I challenge you today to turn from the dead gods that you have been seeking to the One true God. Won’t you receive Jesus into your heart today? Won’t you invite Him into your life to give you the abundance that He died that you might receive? It’s very simple. If you’ve never asked Him to come and live within you today can be your day of salvation. Just pray this prayer and mean it sincerely within your heart:
Father, I come before you acknowledging that I am a sinner, both by birth and by choice. I have sinned and sought to live my life my own way. I realize that I cannot save myself; neither can the other gods that I may have been seeking. I understand now that Jesus is the only way to the Father; that He is the only Savior that can give me new life. I ask You to forgive me of my sin and that You would save me. I thank You, Lord Jesus, for dying for me. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He died to give me new life. Today I ask You, Lord Jesus, to come into my heart to live within me and to save me. Thank You, Lord, for being my Savior and Lord. I promise to live my life for you from this moment on. I will follow You and allow You to lead me by Your Spirit who lives within me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.