| from Stephen Baker |
“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 24:3-5
Like the women who first went to the tomb, the scriptures record the stories of Mary Magdalene, Cleopas with another disciple, Thomas, and Peter who had special appearances from the Lord.
Each of these stories not only provide a foundation of witness toward the reality of the resurrection, but they provide insight into how the resurrected Lord meets our needs.
Let’s face it, life can be perplexing. And when death, disease, and disasters interrupt our comfort and routine, we can easily be thrown into despair and fear. Jesus’ death interrupted the plans and hope that the early disciples had placed in Him. They were confused by the events that led to His crucifixion. Now that these women were going on the first day of the week to take care of the body of Jesus, they are even more startled by the missing body and angelic appearance. So what can we learn from the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus.
My wife might say she would be perplexed if I just showed up in dazzling apparel, but that is another story. If we look at each of the individuals where Jesus appeared and spoke to individually, we can see that each of these characters had specific needs that we can identify with.
- Mary Magdalene – The woman who had seven demons cast out and became a committed follower of Jesus was now searching for her identity that had died with her deliverer.
- Cleopas and the other disciple, who I believe was his wife the other Mary at the tomb – These followers were looking to Jesus to redeem Israel and thought He was the Messiah King. Confused by the events of the weekend they were headed for home searching for belonging and security.
- Thomas – The disciple who missed the first upper room appearance and received the news with doubt was searching for security in his faith and in reality of truth.
- Peter – The disciple most confident in himself and ready to wield a sword to fight for Jesus had denied that he even knew Him. Now as he returned to fishing for fish, he was confronted by Jesus regarding his own search for purpose and competency which He thought he had lost or betrayed.
A key take-away from these stories is that the resurrected Lord has made the way complete to meet every need we have. He is the way, the truth, and the life. Let us take the words of the angels to heart when we are seeking to have our needs met by the world, by others, or by material things. “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” Let us seek Jesus first, let Him remove our perplexity, and He will satisfy our needs.
Stephen Baker and his wife, Joyce have been two of Dr. Kathy’s thought-leaders for years. Now they’re both Celebrate Kids Associate Speakers and Writers. They work closely together. Steve has served in ministry for almost 40 years. With his heart for discipleship, he has worked as a senior pastor, associate pastor, teacher, coach, and hospice chaplain. Steve has a passion for families, mentoring believers, and discipling parents to walk in this world humbly and boldly as warriors sharing the powerful message of the gospel to all people.