The Tomb is Empty – Where is Jesus Now?

easter resurrection empty tomb
The title of this post asks a simple question, but don’t answer it too quickly.

Yes, two gospels and the book of Acts describe Christ’s post-resurrection departure to heaven. In about a month, much of the Christian world will celebrate Ascension Day, a reminder of that departure. It’s comforting to know that Jesus is waiting for us at God’s right hand, praying for us until our safe arrival (Romans 8:34).

But other passages describe His current location in a different way, a very intimate way, which also matters to us:

  • “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me…” (Galatians 2:20)
  • “…Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27)
  • “so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith…” (Ephesians 3:17)

I don’t pretend to be able to fully explain the dynamics of the situation, but I don’t need to explain it in order to believe it – Christ is in heaven, and He is in me! He sits with His Father, and He walks with me. He receives the worship of angels, and He hears my stumbling and distracted prayers. The very idea amazes me, and at times I find it hard to grasp. But I choose to believe it, and when I do, it is delightful.

As I have developed a more contemplative approach to my Christian life, the presence of Christ has become more significant to me. When I take a Sabbath hike, like the one I took this afternoon, I have a very real sense that I’m going on a walk with Jesus Christ. I acknowledge His presence when I get to the trailhead, thanking Him for the offer of rest that I’m about to embrace. I sing worship songs to Him as I walk. I thank Him for the beauty of the flowers along the trail, the clouds in the sky, for the butterflies and the lizards (no, I am not yet spiritual enough to thank Him for the snakes). And as an unexpected benefit, my awareness of His presence on my Sabbath hikes has made me more likely to be aware of His presence the rest of the week.

He is here. With me. Me! I shake my head as I type, because I don’t deserve this.

But I won’t turn it down. And I won’t argue with Him.

I regret the many years in which I saw Jesus as mainly a figure of history. I know, we rarely describe Him that way, at least not word-for-word. But we treat Him that way, don’t we? We emphasize His birth, His death, His resurrection, His departure, and His return. In the meantime, if we’re not careful, He becomes a somewhat distant figure – admirable, of course, and worthy of praise. But distant.

We need to remind ourselves of His presence. Every day. In all that we do.

His last words in the first gospel show us how much this truth mattered to Him: “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

What if we lived as if He meant it?

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About Sabbath Thoughts

My name is Mike Gaston. I am a former missionary, a Shepherding Pastor at Heights Church in Prescott, AZ, a happy husband, a spoiled father of two daughters, a proud grandfather, and a recently-convinced pursuer of the benefits of intentional, regular, contemplative, Christ-centered rest. This blog will allow me to share thoughts about Sabbath, as well as thoughts about God and the Christian life that come out of my restful Sabbath moments.
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2 Responses to The Tomb is Empty – Where is Jesus Now?

  1. Penny Burch says:

    Hi Mike, I know there is no answer to this question but….why do you think that there are no records of what Jesus said and did after His resurrection and before His assention ? I know that John tells us the things Jesus said were too many to number but is anything else known?

    Penny

    • Hi, Penny. I’m not sure it’s true that there are no records of His post-resurrection ministry. Each of the gospels contains something, with John being probably the most extensive, and Luke containing the story of the road to Emmaus. There isn’t as much detail about those 40 days as there was about the week leading up to the resurrection, but there is definitely information in the gospels, plus the first few verses of Acts and Paul’s description of His resurrection in 1 Corinthians 11. I assume we have all that we need to have.

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