(1) But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared.
(2) And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb,
(3) but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
(4) While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling clothing;
(5) 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?”
(6) "He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee,
(7) saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again."
(8) And they remembered His words,
(9) and returned from the tomb and reported all these things to the eleven and to all the rest.
(10) Now they were Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James; also the other women with them were telling these things to the apostles.
(11) But these words appeared to them as nonsense, and they would not believe them.
(12) But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he *saw the linen wrappings only; and he went away to his home, marveling at what had happened.
What an incredible experience for these women! A mother, and friends, loved ones, those who were close to Jesus, those who loved him, and experienced deep and meaningful relationships together came to perform rituals offered to those who have passed on. Imagine the worry, fear, and sadness to find he was not in the tomb. It only takes seconds for so many emotions to flood our hearts. These are the emotions I read into “perplexed”. They were blessed to have added to these emotions even more when two men, angels no doubt, appeared and gave them comfort.
These angels gave the loved ones of Jesus a similar response to their shock and surprise as Jesus gave the two later in the story on the road to Emmaus. “Don’t you remember?!”. Jesus added in all the scriptures, places that prophesied of his coming, suffering, death, and resurrection. There are many places in the scriptures we could reference, probably others that we don’t even realize are talking about our risen savior. Like the women at the tomb, and the disciples after, we don’t see everything, and we often lose sight of who Jesus is and what his resurrection means today.
The resurrection is about the future, of course it is, but that is just part of it! I was just listening to a song that said something like, “while I wait for heaven, I won’t wait for heaven because heaven lives in me”! How very true. Even Jesus said that the kingdom was in us, I think its just another way of saying that we ARE the kingdom. When we read words like “kingdom”, and “inheritance”, we should immediately think of right now, today, as well as of the future. The most important and meaningful existence as a believer is right now! If it is any other way, of future only, then I believe we are missing the life which is in us, Jesus Christ.
In Ephesians 5:14, the apostle Paul says to “Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you!”, exclamation added by me because I think that is how it should be read. With exclamation! Wake up! Wake up believer! Wake up church! Wake up child of the living God! Get up and live like you are alive. Elsewhere in 2 Corinthians 6, Paul says to come out and be separate. Let’s see these proclamations, taken from the Old Testament, the scriptures, as a call for us to leave this world behind every day. It is interesting that Paul, according to commentators and bible references, takes these proclamations for at least a few different sources. Paul is trying to get us to see the bigger picture.
Isaiah refers to the coming Christ and our lives in him, in life, causing others to see his salvation. Isaiah is saying, shouting, the very same things that Paul was many years later. The Lord is coming, and he will make you alive, so wake up and shine! The Lord has already come!
Isaiah 26:19 NASB
Your dead will live; Their corpses will rise. You who lie in the dust, awake and shout for joy, For your dew is as the dew of the dawn, And the earth will give birth to the departed spirits.
Of course, Isaiah is speaking to a nation that left their calling, Israel, but as Paul takes such proclamations and brings them to others for the purpose of rousing them up from the dead, from the world, so should we. The Lord has come, and we are alive in him. When Isaiah says their corpses rise, it can be taken as metaphor, as Paul uses it. The dew that waters the ground is the believer alive letting the love of Jesus pour out into the dry and parched earth to water dry and dead bones to life! Like Ezekiel’s valley of dried bones that in a wild vision assemble themselves into a great army of bones that he witnesses come to life! When will the Lord pour his spirit into us? It is already done! What are we to do with this? Wallow around in the dust of this dead world until we die, awaiting a resurrection where everything will be made better…nope! With this amazing life we have been given, we are to rise above the death that world brings, because that is what it brings, speaking of the world as the ordered systems that exist (yes, your government, your country, whatever or wherever that may be), and stand firm in the Kingdom, under the King’s banner which is Love (the banner, our only flag), and water the ground, let the light bring those still trapped to life. This is the resurrection.
Ezekiel continues later in the same proclamation that a King will reign over us, He will be our shepherd, and that we will walk in his law. We have a covenant of peace with our King and that this covenant is everlasting. The King’s sanctuary will be in our midst, and as Paul says, we are that sanctuary! The nations, read the world, will know Him through us.
So, wake up! We are the resurrection today! Celebrate and sing it out! Seek the Living One among the Living!