March 27, 2005
INTRODUCTION: Easter morning must have been amazing for the disciples. They had missed the message and must have been awed by the reality of it all. They received the rebuke, “why seek ye the living among the dead?” They heard the correction: “He is risen as He said.” Their seeking was vain! It is easy to be critical of them, but people today are still vain seeking.
I. Seeking Him in Places He Cannot Be Found.
A. In religion.
1. Probably nothing has done more to hide Christ than organized religion.
2. If He is found in much Christianity, it is accidental.
B. In philosophy.
1. The whole tone of modern philosophy is humanistic.
2. There is no room for Christ because it is too full of human values, which mirror sinful mortals.
C. In legalism.
1. Through meeting and keeping terms of the law.
2. Anything that makes performance necessary to salvation is incorrect because it misses the point of the resurrection.
II. Seeking Him Among People Where He Cannot Be Found.
A. The gloomy and despairing.
1. If He is found here, it should not be so.
2. No room for gloom and despair among His people.
B. The doubting and unsure.
1. If Job could say, “I know that my redeemer liveth,” how much more should we. (Job 19:35)
2. How sad to live life unsure of the things that pertain to Him.
C. The habitually sinning.
1. Salvation makes a change; where there is no change, there must be a questioning of salvation.
2. He should not be found among those who constantly practice sin.
D. The worldly.
1. “If ye then be risen with Christ…”
2. He should not be found among those unwilling to renounce the world.
III. Seeking Him in Ways in Which He Cannot Be Found.
1. No religious observance leads to Christ.
2. No religious observance necessary to come to Him.
1. Includes all forms of religious observance and self-help philosophies.
2. No amount of self-effort can avail in finding Him.
1. Neither doing good or refraining from doing bad.
2. There is no moral standard – even a hypothetical one – adequate to reach Him.
Conclusion: Then how or where is He found? He is found directly; He is found by faith; He is found in prayer; He is found in His Word and Sacrament. “Why seek ye the living among the dead?”