I went downstairs to the pantry and stared. What was I supposed to get? Somehow on the way down one flight of stairs, I got thinking about other things and the one thing I was supposed to remember just evaporated. I’ve got to admit, ever since I was a kid, this happens far too often.
Luke 24 begins with the women rushing early in the morning to the tomb to anoint Jesus body for burial. They are going to where he was last. But, they’re surprised by two angels standing on either end of the place where Jesus lay.* “The women were terrified and bowed with their faces to the ground. Then the men asked, “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? Remember…”. Luke 24:5
The disciples, his followers, didn’t remember what Jesus had said and found themselves confused and immobilized. Then, God sends messengers from heaven to jar them into seeing and remembering where to look for Jesus. “He is not here…He is risen.”
This Easter Saturday is a perfect opportunity to let God remind us of what He’s been saying to us: where he’s working. And to let him show us habits and routines we can let go or change because He’s doing something new.
He is not here:
When we’re feeling disconnected from Jesus, when our work seems lacking, It’s tempting to double down and keep doing the same things, trying to get back what is missing. But, that moment of “He is not here” is God speaking to you from heaven - it’s the hope and the promise that God is about to reveal himself more deeply, more intimately, more powerfully than before.
Are there times, even lately, where you haven’t been seeing or meeting Jesus? In worship? In your daily routines? Your work? Every time we experience a “He is not here” moment means He’s working in some new way and is inviting to meet us there. This our opportunity to stop and ask God to open our eyes and hearts to remember what Jesus said and look for where he’s gone ahead to meet us.
A great way to pray in those moments is thanksgiving - “God thank you for how you’ve met me in the past and that you want to meet me in fresh ways in this next season. Is there something you want me to do or stop doing so I can be available to meet with you?”
“Remember what he said” In vs. 6, The angels give us the perfect strategy for discerning where we are to meet Jesus today and in this season:
What have you said about who you are, Jesus? and What are you doing?
What words has he said to you? his promises?
That’s where you’ll find him
I keep a list of notes on my phone with the promises God has made to me: scriptures that spoke to me, things people prayed for me that God kept highlighting, prophetic words (for more on rhema words, listen to our Jan. 24 and Jan. 31 messages on our youtube channel). I go over those words regularly to remind me what Jesus was doing and what he said he wanted to do in and around me. It’s like consulting a compass to point to Him.
Jesus goes ahead of us: the living one - to meet us. Just like he did with his disciples that Easter morning.
He meets us as we walk on the path to his promises. Like David says in Ps 1 “Blessed is the one who follows in the way of the Lord.” They won’t find themselves stuck looking at something empty or dead - they’ll be blessed. They won’t get caught in the way of sin or the criticalness of spirit. Blessing comes as we pursue where Jesus is.
This Easter Saturday, prepare to see him and follow him. Give thanks and let him show you places and routines you can leave behind: he is not here. And allow his words and promises to you set the course for where to see him waiting ahead of you.
*This is a beautiful picture of the Old Testament Mercy seat where God met the high priest just once a year to receive forgiveness for all of Israel - Two angels were carved on either side of the ark of the covenant in the holy of holies. Now, forgiveness and Mercy is now available to all: “He is not here…he goes before you.”
Submitted by Drew Maxwell