By: Margarita Garcia
In the small town where I grew up there was a man who was mentally challenged that was well loved by the community. He walked down the streets in the neighborhood selling snacks. He would scream aloud, “snaaaaacks for sale, chips, candy, popcorn, snaaaaacks for sale!” So as children, whenever we heard him scream outside, we asked our parents for money and ran out to buy a snack from him.
There is a story that one day, he lost some money. It was getting late and dark, and hard for him to see. So he went to an area in the neighborhood where there was more light to look for his money. You can imagine where I’m going with this story. Someone who knew him asked him what he was doing. He answered that he was looking for his money. The person then asked, “where did you lose it?” He replied, “Well, I lost it on the street over there [pointing to a different location] but it is too dark to see over there, so I came to look for it here where it’s lit.” Of course, he never found it! Although it was lit, he was looking in the wrong place.
In Luke 24:1-9, the women gathered their spices that they prepared and went on to the tomb where the Lord had been laid down. Jesus had been crucified. They wanted to anoint him and honor him with their precious perfumes, as it was the tradition. But the Bible says that when they got to the tomb it was empty. When they arrived, they looked for him but didn’t find the body. The Bible says they were puzzled, they were confused and unable to understand what had happened. They had walked with him and sat at the same table; they listened to his teachings and witnessed many miracles. They missed their Lord.
Then the story goes on, and two men appear and ask them a question, “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive?” In other words, “Why are you looking here?” If the men were from Texas, it would’ve sounded something like this, “Hermanas, bless your heart, y’all are looking in the wrong place.”
The women were already having a rough time feeling very confused when they didn’t find Jesus’ body. They were grieving their loss, and now they hear a voice and are terrified by it. I can imagine their emotions going all over the place. I wonder what thoughts are going through their heads right at this moment when they bow their faces to the ground. If it were me, I would probably be thinking, “This is it, I’m a dead woman. It’s over. I should’ve stayed home.”
Sometimes as leaders, when we go through difficult moments, the circumstances can blur our spiritual vision. We lose hope. It affects the ability to think clearly, messes with our memory, and causes us to lose focus, so much that we look for what we need in the wrong places.
But in verse 6, the men continue saying, “Remember what he told you.” At that precise moment, the women needed to be reminded of the words that Jesus spoke to them when he was with them. They needed to remember what He said during the good times so that they could endure the rough times. What words of hope has Jesus spoken to you? What is he telling you? Because it is in those words where you can find answers as a leader. All the strength, the guidance, and the wisdom that we need to go forward and do God’s will is found in the words of God and the promises that God gives us.
Jesus had been crucified and put in a tomb, but it wasn’t over like many might have thought. In verse 8, it says the women remembered what he had said, that he would rise again, and they rushed out of the empty tomb.
Christian leaders run! Don’t dwell in an empty tomb. There is no life in a tomb. If Jesus is not there, then there is nothing in that place for you there either. As a Christina leader, the enemy will try to bring you back to an empty tomb whatever that might be for you; he will find ways to make you dwell in places like your past and use it as a tool to make you forget Jesus’ words when he called you into leadership. But you must run out! You must remember what He told you and go tell the others.
Jesus has spoken to you and wants to speak through you. He called you into leadership with the intent of announcing the gospel—to go tell the others that he is alive and to speak of hope when there seems to be none. The Bible says that God’s mercies are new every morning and he continuously gives us a new vision to go out and do his will just like he planned from the beginning. Don’t go looking in the wrong places. You have God’s word, promises and affirmation. You have what you need.
As a Christian leader, I absolutely enjoy ministry. It gives me life. For some people it can be overwhelming. For me it’s healing. My favorite part of serving is finding myself doing what God called me to do. Yes, at the end of most days I go to bed very tired, but I get up the next morning and do it all over again because that’s where I find Jesus. However, there are moments when I have to stop and do a self-check. I have to refocus on Him and his purpose for my calling. I must walk out of the empty tomb of busyness, distraction, grief, and fear, just like the women did, so that I can keep announcing that he is alive and that he went to prepare a place for us to be with him for eternity!
So go on, run, rush out and go tell the others through service and love that Jesus lives and is coming back again!
Margarita Garcia, M.Ed. Bilingual Coordinator for Kaufman ISD. Former elementary teacher, works with bilingual teachers and students across the district supporting effective literacy instruction in the bilingual setting, and promoting parent involvement in education through family programs. Coordinator for Christian Latina Leadership Institute (CLLI) East Texas. Masters in Education, Dallas Baptist University, Dallas, TX. Bachelors in Biblical and Theological Studies, Baptist University of the Américas, San Antonio, TX. Married with four children. Margarita currently resides in Kaufman, TX and serves along with her husband pastoring CLife Church Kaufman en Español.