Have you ever been asked a pointed question which stopped you in your tracks and altered the course of your life?

 * * *

The Bible is chock-full of questions. In it, we see God asking questions of His created beings and vice versa. Angels ask questions, as do demons. I recently queried my husband whether he thought it fair of me to ask someone a question I already knew the answer to.

He couldn’t help but laugh.

“Of course it could. Jesus did that all the time!”

Questions within God’s Word should heighten our thinking. They are included to teach and challenge us. We find biblical questions which encourage us, expand our focus beyond the here and now, and help us avoid pitfalls. A few samples of the vast array questions in Scripture are:

This question from Satan, “Did God really say …?” (Genesis 3:1). He asked this of Eve and his tactics haven’t changed. (You may appreciate reading Recognizing Deception-Based Temptations.)

This question from Jesus, “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:36). God the Son always points us to what matters most. (Consider What’s YOUR Goal In Life?)

This question from the Apostle Paul, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). Thinking believers are reoriented with the reality of God’s power and provision for His own. (More on this at Hope Redefined and Bolstered By The Basics.)

I  happen to have a favorite question from the Bible. It’s when the angels asked Jesus’ grieving followers who had come to His tomb:

 ‘Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive?’

Can you imagine?!

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Luke 24:1-8 (in the NLV):

But very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. They found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. So they went in, but they didn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus. As they stood there puzzled, two men suddenly appeared to them, clothed in dazzling robes.

The women were terrified and bowed with their faces to the ground. Then the men asked, ‘Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead!’

‘Remember what He told you back in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that He would rise again on the third day.’

Then they remembered that He had said this.

* * *

I don’t know how God determined which angels would be given the wondrous assignment of meeting the heartbroken women who would be coming to the Lord’s empty tomb… but have you ever thought about that? Did He make an announcement in the middle of heaven’s celebration of Christ’s bodily resurrection?

Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James and others have prepared spices for the Lamb of God and are making their way to the tomb. Two of you are to go meet them and ask, ‘Why are you seeking the living among the dead?’ You’ll then tell them He has risen, just as He said.

I can almost envision angels, beside themselves with joy, thinking how glorious it would be to ask God-loving mortals,

“Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive?!”

* * *

I’ve shared this, my favorite question of all, with a number of people. In fact, for quite a few years. But guess what? I’m at my laptop today with tears flowing in awe of what it must have been like for those women to have this query put to them!

The One they loved suffered unimaginably.

He died. They saw it.

He was buried. They witnessed it.

He was gone. They knew it.

 

Preparing spices for Him seemed illogical.

They weren’t strong enough to move the stone away from the tomb.

The gravesite had been sealed against access under Roman authority.

Unsympathetic soldiers had been commissioned to guard it.

 

In their grief, they nonetheless wanted to honor Jesus.

They had no idea how things would go for them.

Yet together they went, purposefully.

Clutching spices for the dead in their hands.

As night began to fade, they made their way.

The tomb was in sight.

The soldiers weren’t.

The stone had been moved; the seal broken.

 

With pounding hearts and wide eyes, they looked.

At the deserted burial spot.

At each other.

Then, finally, inside the tomb.

 

         The body of Jesus wasn’t there.

 

Two men in dazzling array materialized.

The women fell to their faces in terror.

Jars of burial spices broke on holy ground.

The question was gloriously uttered.

 “Why are you seeking the living among the dead?

He is not here! He is risen!”

* * *

Foreheads nearly in the dirt.

Bodies trembling and minds whirling.

What were we just asked?

Why would we look for someone who was alive in a graveyard?

He is risen?!

* * *

We see in John chapter 11 that, prior to His crucifixion, Jesus was before a grieving friend whose brother (himself a friend of Jesus) had died. This woman said to Him, “Lord, if only You had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give You whatever You ask.”

Jesus then told Martha her brother would rise again. She responded her understanding and belief that, yes, Lazarus would rise—when everyone else rises, at the last day.  Jesus then said:

I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in Me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in Me and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this, Martha?”

* * *

There are multiple blessings to draw from these and other “question” passages. Right now, however, I think it bears consideration that some of the most beautiful, intimate, and even challenging questions God poses to humanity arise from the context of proximity.

The women who came to Jesus’ tomb did so in an inarguably illogical fashion. They even knew it. But their love for the Lord was such that they were compelled to try and do something to honor Him.

Martha, the grieving sister of Lazarus, met Jesus on the road. She shared her pain with Him. She acknowledged His Word and power—Her hope.

In life or death, these individuals were thinking about Jesus. They wanted to be near Him. They continued to esteem Him. And they were in the right places with the right hearts to be asked some of the greatest questions in history!

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Our Takeaway:

God can handle our questions and pain. He loves us in our confusion. And when we seek to be near Jesus in those things through prayer and reading His Word? We are in the right place at the right time for deepest intimacy with Him—to read and hear His loving questions to us.

 Questions with the power to stop us in our tracks, command our attention, and alter the course of our lives.

Not only that, but we’re given the most important of answers and explanations in His Word…

He is not here. He is risen!

This truth changes everything.

* * *

I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in Me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in Me and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this … ?

June

June

People Lover. Author. Blogger. Speaker. Forgiven Much & Wild About God. Learn about June's latest book on her website.

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