“Why seek the living among the dead?”

Luke 24:5

About 1,991 years ago, a group of courageous women arrived at a tomb with a solemn purpose: to anoint the body of their crucified leader. But they were in for a huge surprise. When they arrived at the tomb, they saw that their leader’s tomb was open, and his body was missing. As the women are shocked, confused, and afraid, they notice men in dazzling clothing. These men ask the women a strange question: “Why do you look for the living amongst the dead?” What a peculiar question.

I have a recurring dream of being in my grandparents’ house. In this dream, I am alone. I don’t know how I got there, where my family is, or when they are returning. Also, I am afraid. Around this time last year, I visited my grandparents’ house. I had not set foot inside since my grandfather’s funeral 25 years prior. I walked through the house. The rooms that once held love and life now seemed smaller, memories etched in their walls. I wandered around the house, hoping to understand my recurring dream.

How often do we return to our own places of fear and pain? Like a recurring dream, we revisit the scenes of loss, betrayal, or heartache. Yet, we find that revisiting ground zero doesn’t always fulfill our longing. The past remains, but we are called to embrace the present.

Just as the women arrived at an empty tomb and felt fear, I found myself repeatedly drawn to an empty house, my heart echoing their trepidation. The parallel is uncanny. Like the empty tomb, the empty house symbolizes more than physical space. It holds memories, echoes of pain, and unanswered questions. We return to these places of pain, seeking hope, redemption, and closure. Yet, we often find ourselves staring at remnants—the linen, the walls—wondering where the answers lie.

Why do we return to these empty places?

“Why seek the living among the dead?”

The answer is not within the tomb or, in my case, the empty house. It is outside, among the living.

It’s time to walk out of those tombs. The sun is rising, casting light on a new horizon. Fear, sadness, anxiety, anger, jealousy—they no longer define us.

In the words of Nina Simone,

“It’s a new dawn.

It’s a new day.

It’s a new life for me.

And I’m feeling good.”