Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead? - Luke 24: 5 (NKJV)
He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. - Matthew 28: 6 (NIV)
It is the most important day in the Christian faith. Christmas may have the pageantry with the wise men and the manger but all of it is precursor to the empty tomb. None of it matters without the empty tomb. Friday is good because God so loved the world that He sent His only Son to hang on an old wooden cross for our sins but Sunday is the day of deliverance. Sunday is the day Christ defeated death and hell and overcame the world. That is why it is not Easter beloved. It is Resurrection Sunday.
The world has done a masterful job of turning the most holy and important of days in our faith into a caricature. The empty tomb replaced by bunnies, chocolate, and egg hunts. Modern theology has grown weary of the true Gospel and no longer thinks it is sufficient to draw men. They are wrong of course because without the Gospel you are only drawing men to a building - not the kingdom. You cannot be assured of salvation without the empty tomb. It is the linchpin of the Gospel. That not only did Jesus die for us but that He rose again on the third day and now sits at the right hand of the Father. The true Gospel is the power unto God for the salvation of men. It alone has the power to save. The reason why is found in two very concise sentences found in our key verses today. These two sentences are life to those who believe. They are the very power of God given to men. They are our faith. They are the Gospel.
Why do you seek the living among the dead?
Just as He said.
Oh beloved. They can keep their feel good, dressed up, dumbed down, sugar coated seeker friendly, purpose driven, hyper-graced, prosperity-laced, save no one gospels. They can keep their self help, motivational, false prophetic, spirit abused, pretend-apostolic, absolutely heretical gospels. They can keep the false promises. They can keep the celebrity pastors. They can keep their fake signs and wonders. They can keep seven steps to a better sinner and the notion that this is my best life now. Just give me these two sentences!
Why do you seek the living among the dead? You don't have to anymore! The dead things of this world offer us nothing! Nothing but heartache and lies. Nothing but unkept promises and untold anguish. Remember, we were all born dead in our sins:
And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. - Ephesians 2: 1-3 (NKJV)
We are children of wrath no more! Hallelujah! Jesus is no longer among the dead - He is risen! We are risen with Him beloved! Do we really comprehend that today? If we truly did I would think that we would all walk away from false teaching tomorrow. We would all walk away from anything that compromises this great truth - we no longer need to seek the living among the dead!
Oh beloved. Let them keep their bloodless, cross-less, un-sacrificial religion. Let them keep their pile of dead bones dressed up to look religious. Let them keep their white washed tombs; sparkling on the outside but filled with nothing but death on the inside. Let them keep the seven woes spoken over them. Let them keep their babbling disguised as moves of God and their clairvoyant prophecies that do not honor God. Just give me these two sentences!
Just as He said. Oh beloved! Not only has He risen but He said He was going to! When we place our trust and faith in this world we are building our house on shifting sands. When we build upon the Words of Jesus - it is on the Rock! Do we realize what this one simple sentence means? Can we grasp it? It removes all doubt about who Jesus is! His Word is completely trustworthy. The most audacious claim made during His ministry was that He would be resurrected! Yet there was the empty tomb - just as He said! If that is true, then why would we ever doubt anything else in His Word?
We need to stop looking to the world for answers and solutions. We just need to know what He said! We need to stop seeking extra-biblical sources even within our own faith. We just need to see what He said. We do not need a new paradigm of praying in circles. We need to see what Jesus said about prayer. We do not need a new paradigm on the prophetic. We just need to see what Jesus said about the prophetic. We need to stop chasing anyone who has not risen from the grave! He is with us until the end of the age - just as He said. He will never leave us nor forsake us - just as He said. We also need to pay attention to the warnings, not just the promises. Not everyone who says Lord Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven - just as He said. Expose the evil works of darkness - just as He said.
So they can keep their nonsense disguised as piety. They can keep the show. The pomp and circumstance. They can keep their false unity based upon biblical illiteracy. They can keep their blackmail and extortion disguised as giving. They can keep their sermon series designed to avoid the true Gospel. Just give me these two sentences. These two sentences alone assure me of my own eternal life while confirming the absolute authority of all Scripture. That is all I need to get through whatever this world wants to throw at me. Thank you Jesus for Calvary. Thank you for your sacrifice. Thank you for these two simple sentences upon which I can build my faith. Happy Resurrection Day to all!