Not There

Luke 24:2-3 (NIV) 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.

This is something that was truly beyond the capacity of a human. It was supernatural evidence like nothing they’d ever seen, even from previous experiences with Jesus. A stone that had taken several strong men to put in place over the tomb’s opening was apparently displaced on its own. What an amazing image that surely was, and to have been the first ones to see it was certainly an honor. As great a scene as this was, though, the reason for the stone’s removal was no longer there. This would forever be the most meaningful image of all time, with overwhelming significance in its impact on mankind. There was something missing from the picture, though. When the women drew close, the object of their searching was not to be found. Jesus had already departed from this place He had occupied with purpose. During His body’s occupation of this place of death, His spirit was winning a war over death that would bring freedom from it to all who would follow Him. This freedom would never be found in the tomb itself, though, but in fixation upon the One who was no longer there.

In the search for Jesus, there will be much evidence of His having been there. There will be a miracle, a song, a sermon that is truly something beyond human capacity for producing. For all the searching in the place He has occupied, however, He will never still be found in whatever He has occupied for a purpose alone, no matter how great the purpose. If the heart is to be gratified in its pursuit, it must press on beyond just the evidence to the person Himself. It is not where He’s been or what He’s done that will bring satisfaction to the longing. It’s only in His living presence that the effects of where He has been will have accomplished their purpose. To remain fixated on any of them along the way is to be kept from the greatest evidence He desires yet to produce – His very present, moving, living power in us. It is when He alone is our pursuit that evidence of His name will follow in our wake just as the tomb followed His. Our life will also produce a breadcrumb trail of supernatural signs leading to the Master, but only as we are kept from camping out at any exhibits of His greatness ourselves. Rather than upon where He’s been, the search will remain on Him and only what is found in His presence.

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