An Easter Meditation
Why Seek Ye the Living Among the Dead?
There they stand, looking. . . . Can there be a mistake? Is that lifeless corpse really the man they had known and loved these three eventful years?
Utterly broken down, deprived of any hope, there they stand on the crossway of exploded hope and shattered promise.
Who can fully understand the deep tragedy enacted on the stage of Golgotha? And as they stand, looking, despair darkens the souls even of those who had been nearest to Jesus.
And now their Teacher is buried. The heavy stone standing a dumb sentinel over the mouth of the grave is a counter-part to their stopped up mouths in this moment of bewildering grief. Gone are their hopes in a Jewish redeemer. Shattered their dreams of a heavenly kingdom. Peace? Justice? How simple-minded they had been! Fools to believe in the words of the Galilean. The stark reality of the grave had opened their eyes. They weren’t going to be fooled again. Jesus is dead. Dead. DEAD.
So went their human logic. But human logic is smashed in the working out of God’s purposes. The earth quakes. Souls are quaking. The gloom is ripped by the light of the sun.
Early in the morning, swollen, tired eyes search for meaning. The heavy stone is rolled to one side, the sepulchre’s cavity is open wide like a laughing mouth. No sign of death —of the corpse. Jesus is gone. “Why seek ye the living among the dead?”
Was it really possible for death to wipe out love? Could injustice have the final say? Was God’s word, spoken so powerfully through Jesus, to be silenced? For ever?
“Why seek ye the living among the dead?” Wipe away the tears all you who suffer from the same kind of thought. Do you not read the signs? Jesus is living. Alive! ALIVE.
You who have weary eyes, who sigh under the affliction of unsupportable burdens of injustice, look! Lift up your eyes. The living Christ comes to you to soothe your pain. Just as he came to the disciples.
No need to let poison weeds grow on dead ideas. “Why seek ye the living among the dead?” There he is in the storms and struggles of daily life, among those who suffer, pull muscles, get hurt, who yearn for a better life where peace and justice have a place.
Common sense cannot make head nor tail of the Resurrection. That kind of truth comes another way. The soul that has suffered, that has yearned, is able to comprehend the Resurrection. Life coming from the dead—has real meaning for such a soul. Jesus is alive, and with him hope is reborn. “Touch me and see,” said he to one of his disciples. “It is not your imagination playing tricks. I am as real as any flesh and blood.” Oh what deep hurts have been salved, what wounds have been healed by the living Christ!
It is not only death and its sting that have been conquered. The power of sin and self-destruction has been broken. The living Christ brings living hope. The soul that believes may rejoice. Jesus is alive! Light floods into the dark recesses. Love and justice exult. Life triumphs over death.
Do you see him? He is there at the crossways of your life, stretching out his hands to bless. “Peace be unto you. Behold, I am alive for evermore. Come unto me, and you shall find rest unto your soul.”