Where’d He go?
Less than a week ago, churches bulged with beautifully dressed worshippers. “HE IS RISEN” reverberated through the rafters. Good Friday and Happy Easter permeated the Internet. An observer might have concluded that our entire culture centers on Jesus’ resurrection.
But an odd thing happened. Monday arrived, and Easter apparently became one more family holiday memory. Taxes and tea parties dominated public discourse, and bitter bickering resumed. Echoed cries of “HE IS RISEN INDEED” faded into oblivion.
That same observer might well have wondered, “Where’d He go?”
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. (Luke 24:1-3)
Nothing’s changed from last week; the same petty differences and worries pervade thoughts and conversations. The same flood of angry, divisive rhetoric focuses attention on economic woes, crime, and war. Sales of weapons escalate. News stories trumpet the rescue of a heroic ship captain and celebrate the killing of his captors as a symbol of patriotic pride.
The tomb is empty. Where’d He go?
While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 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? He is not here; he has risen! (Luke 24:4-6)
So, what? Jesus suffered, died, and conquered death. And we ate ham, watched a golf tournament, and returned to our “real” lives. Sunday morning religion yielded to Monday morning pragmatism. Impractical platitudes like “love your neighbor” and “serve one another” morphed into expedient self-interest as the Easter glow wilted under practicality’s harsh glare.
Nothing’s different. Where’d He go?
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” (1 Corinthians 1:18-19)
He didn’t go anywhere. He’s right beside the friend struggling through chemotherapy and the single mom who lost her job and her insurance. His arms surround those who grieve, and support those who sag under the weight of unspoken guilt and shame. The servant leadership of the Good Shepherd guides those who wander without hope in the valley of the shadow.
What “foolishness!” He left the tomb to live in my heart, even when I fail to acknowledge His presence. His grace and forgiveness surround me, even as I forget to extend them to others. I’m immersed in His impractical, unconditional love even when I trade it for my own pragmatic, self-serving “wisdom.”
He is risen indeed, and He lives in each of us. He’s right here. And I want to surrender my intelligence for His foolishness.
What’s one small thing you can do differently today because Jesus is risen?