ODJ: He’s Not There

November 18, 2018 

READ: Luke 24:1-8 

Then the men asked, “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive?” (Luke 24:5).

My dad passed away several years ago from pancreatic cancer. I remember that when we arrived at the graveside for a private family burial, the funeral director was waiting there with my dad’s cremated ashes. It was the first time we had seen the small urn that housed his remains. I suddenly became overwhelmed with grief. A caring family member looked me in the eye and quietly spoke these simple but reassuring words, “Remember, Dad’s not there.”

As I think back to that day, my mind goes to another graveside scene. It was early in the morning, still dark outside. A few women had gone to the tomb that housed the body of their dear friend and Lord—Jesus. But when they entered the tomb, they discovered that His body was gone (Luke 24:1-3).

Suddenly, “two men . . . clothed in dazzling robes” appeared to them and said, “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead!” (vv.4-6).

I know I’m going to see my dad again. Because of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, a day is coming when we’re going to be reunited—never to be separated again. And even though I still visit Dad’s grave on occasion (along with my mother’s—next to his), I know I can’t find him now—because he’s not there.

But the same isn’t true for Jesus; I can find Him. He rose from His grave. And because He’s alive, anyone who seeks Him today can know Him. He’s our Sovereign Creator, our ruling King and our gracious Saviour who reveals Himself to those who look for Him “wholeheartedly” (Jeremiah 29:13). He alone can provide the peace, hope and comfort that sustains us in the dark valleys of life.

—Jeff Olson

365-day plan: Acts 28:1-14

Read Psalm 23:4 and note where the psalmist says God is as we walk through the dark valley. 
How can you seek Jesus in whatever valley you’re going through today? What does it mean for you to know that God is there with you?