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Why Look Among the Dead?

Easter Sunday イースター聖日

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 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. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, ‘Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 “The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.”’ 8 Then they remembered his words. Luke 24

Here, in this reading, we have the greatest news of all. The Bible is filled with good news! Great news! News of creation. News of God’s promises. News of God’s power. News of God’s righteous anger. News of God’s forgiveness. News of God’s redemption. News of the Christmas miracle. And so on and so on. And today we read about the greatest news of all – the very thing we are celebrating today: Jesus Christ, the Son of God, resurrected from the dead and, having defeated death, now alive! 今日は中でもいちばん素晴らしい知らせについて読みますー神の御子であるイエス・キリストが死からよみがえったのです。死に打ち勝ち、今、生きているのです!

This is the greatest event in the history of the world. And in recounting it, I’d like to look at three things that the angels entrusted to the women at the tomb (in reverse order).
1. “Remember”. They reminded the women to remember all the things that Jesus had said to them.“思い出す” 御使いはイエスが女たちに言ったことすべてを思い出させました。

Remembering can be a very important thing.
Moses often instructed the Israelites to remember how God had saved them and brought them out of Egypt.

King David reminds us in the Psalms to remember all God’s works.
I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done. Psalm 143:5

And now the angels remind us to remember all the things that Jesus had said.
Why do they say this at this time? なぜこのときにそんなことを言うのでしょうか?

Because the Lord, their great love and hope, had died and with him had died His words and their hope. But no! They were to remember all He had done and remember His words because they, too, were still true [alive]! それは御言葉が今でも真実[生きている]だからです!

This is important for us, too.

We all go through times that can be really trying, really painful, really discouraging. It’s easy at those times to forget what God has said in His Word and to forget all the things that God has already done in our lives, all the blessings He has given us.私たちは誰でも本当に辛い、苦しい、がっかりするような ときを経験します。そのようなときは神の御言葉を忘れがちで、神が私たちにしてくださったことのすべてを忘れがちです。

We need to take heart and remember with thanksgiving what God has done in our lives – and a part of that is remembering the work on the cross that we talked about last week and that is the focus of this week. At Easter time, especially, we remember the second thing that the angels said to the women at the tomb:

2. “He is risen.” The three greatest words in the Bible! But what’s important for us is that we receive these words into our lives. We don’t just hear them, we don’t just understand them, we don’t just sing about them and we don’t just remember them. We receive them into our lives. 聖書の中で最もすばらしい3語です!しかし大切なことはこの言葉を私たちが受け入れることです。

This means that the truth of Jesus rising from the dead impacts every part of our lives. We see everyone and every situation in the light of Jesus rising from the dead
because He now lives in us.

It’s not His memory that lives in us, or His teachings that live in us, it is Jesus Himself – the Holy Spirit of God – who lives in us.それはイエスが死からよみがえったという真実が私たちの人生のすべてに影響を与えるということです。イエスが今私たちのうちに生きておられるので、死からよみがえったイエスの観点からあらゆる人、あらゆる状況を見るのです。イエスの思い出が私たちのうちに生きているのではありません。イエスの教えでもありません。イエスご自身、神の聖霊が私たちのうちに生きているのす。

“It’s not longer I that live but Christ that lives in me.” Galations 2:20
The resurrected Christ becomes the lens of our lives through which every thought, interaction and deed passes.
“He is risen” becomes the great motivation for every part of our lives. This leads us to the next question. “イエスはよみがえられた”というのが私たちの人生のすべてに強い動機となってくれます。

3. ‘Why do you look for the living among the dead?’
I love this. There is almost an edge to it in which the angels are suggesting, ‘Are you stupid? Why would you be looking for Jesus here? This is a tomb. Why would you look for a living man in a tomb?’ ‘Why do you look for the living among the dead?’
And this question has applications for us today, too. ここは墓です。生きている人を墓で探しますか?
So often people look for life in dead places. People turn to all kinds of things to find or put ‘life’ in their lives.死んだところで生きがいを見つけようとする人がしばしばいます。‘生きがい’を見つけようといろんなところに走りす。

Some people turn to alcohol. 酒に走る人もいます。
Some people turn to entertainment 娯楽に走る人もいますand spend hours every day escaping the world, immersed in TV dramas and movies, games.
Some people are consumed with their work and the financial and status rewards that can bring. 仕事に夢中になる人もいます。
Some people turn to physical relationships,肉体関係に走る人もいます。 taking something very good that God created and using it for momentary, passing pleasures. (Bono vs bass player Adam Clayton).
Some people turn to religion – following religious traditions and rituals – in the hope that they will find life. 生きがいを見つけることを願い、宗教的伝統に走る人もいます。

But they won’t. Why would you look for the living among the dead? These things are distractions at best and can be highly destructive at worst. しかし見つけられません。なぜ生きている方を死人の中で捜すのですか?それらは せいぜい気を紛らわすものであって、ひどいときには非常に破壊的になりかねません。

Some of these things look obviously bad but others might at first appear to be okay, and not such a problem.
What’s wrong with filling your life with entertainment? 娯楽で満たすことのどこが悪いのでしょう?
What’s so bad about working hard? 一生懸命働くことの何が悪いのですか?
How can following religious traditions be such a problem? 宗教的伝統に従うことがどうして問題になるのでしょう?

The thing is, in one way or another, they are all a perversion of what is good. So they might at first look good but in reality they all deny God. They all lead away from a relationship with the living God. None of them lead to the full life that God has planned for each person. They are all dead-ends.

‘Why do you look for the living among the dead?’

Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10
The thief steals the beauty of relationships, kills the joy of living righteously and destroys hope. Jesus came to restore all that. 盗人は人間関係の美しさを盗み、正しく生きる喜びを殺し、希望を壊します。 イエスはそれらをみな回復するために来ました。
He is risen to give us new life.
He is risen to heal us.
He is risen that we would truly know what peace is.
He is risen that our lives would be filled with joy. Not petty pleasures. Joy.
He is risen that we would have hope – for this life and eternity.
He is risen that we would be forgiven and would break free from the bondage and blindness of sin habits.
He is risen that we would have full life.

Invitation to receive Christ.
If you feel the call of God today, come forward and enter new life.
Take a moment to examine your lives and when you are ready, please come forward.