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The Unpresence of Christ

He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.  Matthew 28:6 NIV

the unpresence of ChristThe unpresence of Christ must have seemed illogical.

In my college French class, the instructor opened each class by calling the roll. As she read our name, she expected us to respond in French with ici, which meant here or present.

One day, I decided to liven things up by replying with something different—in French, naturally. So when she called my name, I responded, Je ne suis pas ici, meaning, “I am not here.”

An unusual statement, to be sure, but although grammatically correct in English and French, it was also wholly illogical. After all, how could I say I wasn’t there when I was?

But the women in this passage would soon encounter someone who could say that. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. If we imagine Jesus standing in front of His empty tomb and saying, “I am not here,” then the statement is not meaningless.

The women faced new challenges after witnessing the empty tomb. After all, they had seen Jesus’ death agonies, watched Him die, seen His inert body removed from the cross, and watched it placed in a borrowed tomb. However, things would soon change. Three days later, they encountered the triumphant living figure of that same Man. They would see him with their eyes, touch Him with their hands, and hear His words.

Although we can’t share their experiences the same way, we can remember the empty tomb and live our lives in light of the resurrection. “I am not here” was an illogical and ludicrous statement for me, but not for our Savior.

How can remembering the resurrection change your life daily?

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

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Anne Adams

Anne Adams is a retired church staffer living in Athens, Texas, where she writes a historical column for the local newspaper. Her book Brittany, Child of Joy, tells about her mentally disabled daughter and was published in 1986 by Broadman. She has taught junior college history and has published in Christian and secular publications for forty years.