Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.”

Luke 24: 1-6 (ESV)

She had seen Him heal Lepers, and eat with the prostitutes and set them on a path to a new life. She had watched as He forgave the hated tax collectors and turned them to a better life. She had seen Him feed the 5,000 and bring Lazarus back from the grave.

Time after time Mary had seen Him perform miracle after miracle, always doing what He said He would do. And yet she stands there that morning frozen in fear, looking for the living among the dead, looking for her Christ—in a tomb. And the angels ask the obvious question to them: “Why do you look for the living among the dead?” The Christ who told her days earlier that He would rise again in three days, has risen.

Think about that for a moment in your own lives on this morning after Easter. Despite knowing better—from the wise counsel of others, the divine intervention or providence of God, or the past experiences of our lives—we look for meaning in places where we have learned from past experience that we won’t find it. I wonder if perhaps we are even doing that today—looking for all the important things in life, in all the unimportant places. I wouldn’t blame you if you were; after all that’s the message of our secular society, that we’ll find fulfillment in life in what turns out to be all the wrong places.

Why do we think we’ll find lasting fulfillment in the fleeting and the temporary? Why do we think we’ll find lasting fulfillment in money, or careers, in things and stuff, in promotions, achievements, national championships, resumes and trophies? Striving for them is one thing—if the purpose is to be all God has created you, and called you to be. But worshipping them and measuring your worth against them, well, that’s not of God.

Why do we still think that true life, abundant and satisfying, will be found in positions of power and the accolades, admiration and praise from others? Why does it take us all of our lives to realize, hopefully not too late, that we won’t find the living, the important priorities of life, among those dead and truly unimportant things?

Yesterday was Easter—and we remembered again, that Christ has risen. And it’s a time of renewal and restoration. A time to claim anew and afresh for the rest of our days, the important life, the special life, the victorious life which we were created for and meant to live, and to leave the legacy of changed lives we were meant to leave behind each and every day.

Listen friends, it wasn’t an idle gesture that the Son of God gave it all up for us on the Cross, and then, three days later, through His resurrection, affirmed the very best in us, and affirmed the future for us, through Him. This was not a random afterthought on God’s part—for us to today simply stand by and be less than He intended.

But if you’re like me at times, you have reservations and hesitations, holding you back. “I’ve got too much baggage.” “I’ve messed up too many times and hurt too many people.” “I don’t know which way to turn or how to begin.” “I’m afraid to even try, I’ll make another mistake.” “My children won’t even listen to me anymore.” “I feel like I still haven’t proven myself to the world.”

I’ve been there. You’ve been there. So where do we start? How do we begin the journey back? And how do we continue the journey to becoming all we were meant to be, to live the life we were meant to live, amidst the detours we’ve taken and pot-holes we’ve fallen into before, and the fallings and failures we’ve had—all of which we know will still be ahead of us along the way?

We start at the empty tomb of Easter that we celebrated again yesterday. Then we accept where we’ve been and what is in the past, learn from it, change, and then set it in the past; while we move forward re-energized into the future which God has set before us.

I don’t know what’s going on in your life right now. I don’t know what disappointment or discouragement you may have suffered. I don’t know who has let you down or disappointed you this past week, or what “important” or “urgent” stuff you think you have in front of you. I don’t know what is bothering you or who is trying to set your schedule for the days ahead.

But whatever it is, I wonder if you and I need to do a better job, today and every day, of accepting, letting go of and learning from the past, and then moving forward and looking for the important things in life ahead of us, while embracing the promise of the empty tomb—that Christ is risen and Christ is alive to help each one of us to become all that He meant for us to be.

Easter brings a fresh, new, bold reminder of the Hope in the risen Christ that is ours forever.

Christ has risen. He is alive.

Stop for a moment and reflect on life you have been given. Stop, accept, and learn from what was, and then—look up, reach out, and step forward into the arms of the God of the empty tomb and all there is before you. He will place your feet on the path to living a life that is truly significant, that is truly meaningful, and that will leave a legacy of changed lives.

In His Name—Scott

Copyright 2013. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.