In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?” (Luke 24:5)
With the perspective of history, we can look back and see the logical error of the women, Jesus’ mother, His aunt, and Mary Magdalene, who came to His tomb that dark Sunday morning to finish the grievous task of anointing Jesus’ dead body with perfumes and aromatic ointments. They were looking for the living among the dead, which is not a logical thing to do. We don’t go to the cemetery to pick up a friend to go and have coffee.
But we see that error only because we know the big picture. We know what the women, up to that point, did not. We know that Jesus rose from the dead and left the tomb, leaving it empty.
However, without that information, the actions of the women are entirely logical. If you saw your best friend brutally murdered and then laid in a tomb, you would expect that their body would be in the same place two days later.
If the angels represent God’s perspective, or heavenly logic, and the women, before hearing the angels’ message, represent human logic, which kind of reasoning do you tend to use?
We are all broken, frail beings living in a fractured, hurting world, where the dead stay dead and the living do what they can to get by. So it makes sense that we use human logic.
But there is more going on in and around us than what we see. For God has created all humans to be eternal beings. Because of our fallen nature, we are all destined to spend eternity apart from God, something akin to eternal death. But Jesus, through the perfect human life He lived and the sacrificial death He died, has changed our destiny from eternal separation from God, to eternal life with God. By rising from the dead, Jesus proved His victory over sin and death for us is complete and His promise of forgiveness and resurrection life is certain.
Because Jesus has risen from the dead, so will we. We have a new identity as beloved, forgiven children of God. We look forward to the Day when we will see Jesus face-to-face and live with Him in the new heaven and earth forever.
So we use both human logic and heavenly logic, but our governing logic is that of heaven. For God sees what is really real and what is truly true. He sees us as we really are in Jesus. And we, with the help of the Holy Spirit, strive to see ourselves the same way. Anything less would be like looking for the living among the dead.
Dear Jesus, thank you for being our Saviour! Please help us to see ourselves as we really are in You. Amen.
PS I will be taking Sabbath rest from writing these weekly devotions for a few weeks with the intention to resume in late September. It would help me out greatly if you gave me your feedback. To fill out a short, three-question survey, please click here.