5Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen
Christ is risen!
This week we have tried to recover some of the shock of Holy Week and the truly odd narrative elements that are wildly liberating, but sometimes buried and lost.
On Maundy Thursday, Jesus forgives us in advance of our sin. On Good Friday, Jesus declares himself our mother on the cross. On Holy Saturday, the Word goes forth in silence, and wounds become wombs of new creation.
Today, Jesus is risen.
The women come to the empty tomb, but the Gospel text says the risen Christ cannot be found “among the dead.” The risen Christ has nothing whatsoever to do with death. But there is more. The risen Christ cannot be found at all. No one finds the risen Christ, ever. Nowhere in any of the resurrection accounts do any of the disciples discover or find the risen Christ. The risen Christ always finds us. It is not the disciples who find Jesus. It is Jesus who always finds the unsuspecting disciples. They can make no
claim on being found and neither can we. This is a critically important detail.
Moralism is the heavy burden of having to find Jesus. It is like “looking for the living among the dead.” The Gospel is the reverse. It is the inexpressible joy of being found and counted among the living.
Confession: I sometimes find Easter the hardest of all the celebrations. Amidst all the cheery hoopla, I sometimes feel the need to engineer my own resurrection encounter. It is a deadening burden. Thankfully, the Gospel is the reminder that the hard work of Easter is on God, not us. It is God’s job to find us, not our job to find God. And when we discover ourselves found, our only burden is the very light and easy burden of joy itself, which is no burden at all. Anything heavier than joy is simply not the Gospel of Jesus.
So, relax. The risen Christ is eager to find us and will not stop until he does. Our task, if we can call it that, is simply to be found by the one who is knocking at our door…even now!
He is risen indeed!