Sometimes life can feel petty, paltry, and mundane. It often feels this way to me after an exciting vacation or, more commonly, following a busy season when life suddenly seems to come to a halt. In the pause, I begin looking for signs of life.
I often wonder what life felt like to the disciples while Jesus lay in the tomb. For three solid years their lives following Jesus were a non-stop adventure. They witnessed miracles, watched their beloved rabbi outsmart the Pharisees and Sadducees, grappled with His stories, and dreamed about His future kingdom. And then He was gone. It was over. He was sealed in a tomb and it was all for nothing. Or so it seemed.
Peter, not one to sit around and wallow, headed back to his old life as a fisherman. Several of the other disciples followed suit. John is strangely silent, his quiet, contemplative spirit presumably overtaken by grief. Thomas was skeptical. We are not told how the rest of the others responded, but we can imagine. We can picture ourselves in the scene—our dreams swallowed alive, our plans ripped out from under us. In those moments when life rolls forward but a huge stone of doubt, loss, grief, or failure blocks any signs of life from appearing, what do we do?
We wait and we remember. He promised He was going to rise. He has a plan. His timing is different than ours. His paths are beyond tracing out. He is forging a way ahead of us, and just because we cannot make out the path doesn’t mean He has stopped leading. He is the sign of life. Even in the tomb He is the resurrection and the life.
Paul said that Jesus is the “first fruits” of those risen from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:20-23). Resurrection Sunday occurred on the Jewish holiday of First Fruits, the celebration of the signs of life of spring and the beginning of the wheat harvest. God instituted this holiday over one thousand years prior to Resurrection Sunday. He gave His people some of His first covenant promises through the Law of Moses and He intended that they celebrate this day for all generations. He commanded it to be a migratory feast where His people could come together from the ends of the Earth each year to celebrate. And on this day, God ushered in His new covenant—the forgiveness of sins through the death and resurrection of Jesus, God in the flesh dwelling among His people.
Today, you and I possess resurrection power. We are raised from death to life spiritually. The same power that revived Christ from the dead is now alive in us through the Holy Spirit, through whom we are sealed, guaranteeing our future physical resurrection. God may feel absent. He may feel far away. There may appear to be a giant stone blocking all signs of life. But He is here. He is working. He is redeeming, restoring, and renewing. He is the resurrection and He is alive in you! Don’t give up, friend. Signs of life are coming soon.
For more about this study, click the link below: