The “dead Jesus complex” (stuck in Holy Saturday)

“Holy Saturday” remembers Jesus’ time in His tomb. Don’t let the “dead Jesus complex” (dJc) get you stuck there! Like the women at the tomb on Resurrection morning, many people want to honor Jesus by embalming Him, but He won’t stay put.

Dead Jesus, hope gone, defeated disciples – -that was supposed to be temporary, not permanent. Jesus said, “It is finished,” not, “I’m finished.” He’s still going strong!

A Tim McGraw song says: “Live like you were dying.” The “dead Jesus complex” (dJc) says: “Live like Jesus is dead.”

Like Jesus was “sealed” in the tomb, many people try to “seal” Him in the past, by ignoring His risen presence in the now. The “dead Jesus complex” (dJc) doesn’t fully appreciate that Jesus has no grave clothes on. He left them behind, folded in the tomb. It tries to preach about the resurrection while keeping Jesus in grave clothes.

The “dead Jesus complex” (dJc) confused Mary Magdalene at the empty tomb. It made her think that the resurrected Jesus was the gardener, until she heard Him call her by name. (Have you heard Him call your name?)

When Christians have the “dead Jesus complex,” they tend to shift their hope from the risen Christ, to religion, pastors, politicians, and the economy. The “dead Jesus complex” verbally acknowledges the resurrection, but ignores Christ’s living and active presence in the now.

The “dead Jesus complex” is very problematic. Jesus died and was sealed in His tomb, but the “dead Jesus complex” (dJc) causes people to act like He’s still there. It causes many Christians to focus on the written Word, while ignoring the living Word. Therefore it is a great hinderance to Christian growth — keeping many Christians in spiritual infancy.

The “dead Jesus complex” creates a need for religious programming. (If Jesus is still dead, we need a pastor to run things.) The “dead Jesus complex” is contagious. If you hang around a powerless “form of godliness” (casual Christianity), you might accidently catch it.

Contrary to the “dead Jesus complex,” Scripture teaches that Jesus WAS dead and buried, but is NOW alive, active, and available to humans. Daily reading the Bible with an open heart will open the door for the risen Jesus to speak directly to you. Try it!

To only focus on and celebrate the resurrected Jesus, one day per year, is to embrace and promote the “dead Jesus complex” (dJc). Two early disciples were on a walk and were in the presence of the risen Jesus. However, they didn’t even recognize Him. That’s the “dead Jesus complex.”

On Easter, preachers make an obligatory talk about the empty tomb, but too many Christians and churches act like it’s still occupied. Celebrating Easter and saying Jesus rose, doesn’t cure the “dead Jesus complex.” Daily surrender to His presence and Lordship does! Meeting, following, and obeying the risen Jesus is the only effective cure for the “dead Jesus complex.”

Symptoms of the “dead Jesus complex (using part of a quote from William Booth): “Religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance.”

Jesus isn’t tomb-bound. He’s not under death’s lockdown. He’s spreading His power and presence to all who will humbly receive.

Every time you veer away from Christ, immediately steer your heart and mind back into the atmosphere of His living presence.

If any Sunday need not be pastor’s-sermon-focused, it’s Resurrection Sunday. If Jesus is alive, let’s let Him run the meeting. In all your streaming take time to stream the risen Jesus on the screen of your heart. On Easter 2020, the churches are closed, because of the Corona virus, but Christ’s tomb remains ever open.

The best way to give up our desire to be in control, is to surrender our expectations of what we want, and daily trust and obey the risen Jesus. Seclusion becomes joyful infusion when you find the living Jesus there.

Lonely hearts come alive when the risen Jesus enters in and becomes the focus! It’s hard to feel alone when you’re being deeply inspired by a book that stirs your heart and soothes your soul. Some of my best friends are authors who lived centuries ago and wrote beautifully about their relationship with the risen Jesus. I enjoy interacting with their words and perspectives.

Much hope, encouragement, and inspiration is yours for the reading. Find books that vividly present the risen Jesus and begin to peruse them.

I love to spend time with people who inspire me to love the living Jesus more. I’ve been blessed with many people like that in my life! Learn how to free yourself from the dead Jesus complex (dJc) at this link.

Learn how to free yourself from the “dead Jesus complex” with

About Steve Simms

I like to look and think outside the box. In college I encountered Jesus Christ and I have been passionate about trying to get to know Him better ever since. My wife and I long to see the power and passion of the first Christ-followers come to life in our time. I have written a book about our experiences in non-traditional church, called, "Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible--Ekklesia." If you need encouragement, search for: Elephants Encouraging The Room and/or check out my Amazon author page. Thank you!
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