by Vahé Jebejian
«Why do you seek the living among the dead? » Luke 24:5
That’s what the angels said when the women came to Jesus’ tomb, only to find it empty. Indeed, the idea of Jesus in a tomb was history. Jesus had risen from the dead, but the women not knowing came to search for Him. How often in our lives do we go back and take refuge in our past?
When the women went back, the only thing they saw was an empty tomb, an emptiness. It was now time to look to the future, to what’s ahead.
It is easy when problems come to look back to the past for comfort, reassuring ourselves that we once were good people, we have already done plenty of good deeds. There is nothing wrong in looking back to the past to search for encouragement or to remember joyful moments. However, there is a problem when we start getting comfortable with that.
Jesus said in Luke 9:60, «Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God». Jesus may sound pretty unsympathetic, after all the man had suffered a big loss. Jesus is extending His hand to the man, inviting him to join His ministry, but the man keeps looking back at his past, he’s not ready to let go.
Jesus calls us out of our comfort zone, he called Peter out of the boat to join Him on the water. Peter, accepting the challenge, comes out but when the winds blow, he faces a choice. The winds represent our problems. I’d like to imagine that when Peter started sinking, he had two choices: either to go back to the boat or to seek Jesus. Let’s keep that image in mind every time we face a dilemma in life. Will we go back to the comfort zone, to the boat, or seek Life? Let’s follow Peter, when he says, « Lord, save me», in Matthew 14:30. Jesus promises us to be there promptly, as he was for Peter, «Jesus immediately reached out His hand and took hold of him» (Matthew 14:31).
It is a lifelong task to always reach out for more. It is not easy to get out of our comfort zone. Let’s try every day to do something that will make a difference somehow, no matter how small it is.
Finally, «Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead» Philippians 3:13.