May 20 Devotion

Today we will look at Luke 24:1-12

24:1 Now on the first day of the week, at early dawn, the women went to the tomb, taking the aromatic spices they had prepared.  2They found that the stone had been rolled away from the tomb,  3but when they went in, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.  4While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men stood beside them in dazzling attire.  5The women were terribly frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?  6He is not here, but has been raised! Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee,  7that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.” 8Then the women remembered his words,  9and when they returned from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest.  10Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles.  11But these words seemed like pure nonsense to them, and they did not believe them.  12But Peter got up and ran to the tomb. He bent down and saw only the strips of linen cloth; then he went home, wondering what had happened.

“Why do you look for the living among the dead?”  

What does it take to follow Jesus?  What does it cost?  I was talking to a wonderful pastor this morning about the nature of the law, those guidelines and demands that God places on us.  Think of the ten commandments, there are more, but that is a good start.  God demands that we live in a certain way.  There are rules to guide us so that we live the way God wants us to.  These same rules condemn us when we don’t follow them.  They condemn us to separation from God forever when we break even the smallest bit of one.  That is one of their main purposes, to show us that we are condemned.  We haven’t and can’t make it.  People don’t like the law because of this.  It points out their flaws.  It shows us that we are condemned and as such, we are the walking dead.  Doomed now to be separated from God forever.  Who could love something that does that to us?

The psalmists do.  They declare love for the law of God.  Some how they are able to take this thing that aims to kill us and celebrate it as pure joy from God.  How does that happen?  Think of it this way…

God doesn’t need anything from us.  Nothing at all.  God can make anything he might want himself and he certainly does not us to make or give him anything.  Let’s face it, everything we have is a gift from him anyway.  So why does God bother giving us the law?  Just to make us feel bad?  No.  Everything God gives us is for our own benefit.  The law, through eyes of faith, is pure gift to us.  Remember he doesn’t need anything he simply loves us and wants to give to us the things we need.  God gives us a law so that, in obedience, we will begin to experience the life he wants to give us.  The law makes sense as a guide to living the gift of eternal life with him.  

Jesus died to give us an abundant life.  If we have faith to see it, the law simply shows us what that abundant life looks like.  When we fail to obey it, that is death.  It is walking away from life.  The law condemns because apart from it there is no life.  Jesus died so that we could have the grace to be forgiven and set back on the path of life.  Not only that but he gives us the Holy Spirit to enable and equip us to a new life of obedience so that we learn to live and even enjoy the new life he won for us.  

Looking at the law then, can be like looking for the living among the dead.  There are those who only find death when living under the law and there are those who are freed to new life because of what Jesus has done. Putting our trust and faith in Jesus frees us to live according to the law and not under it.  It becomes life and joy in Christ.  We become the living among the dead.  Let’s learn to obey Christ and live.

Pastor Mac