18 June 2018
GraceNotes – A Journey of Discovery
Scripture: Matthew 28:1-7 (Click link for scripture in Bible Gateway)
1 Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb. 2 Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it. 3 His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. 4 The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint. 5 Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. 7 And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you.” (Matthew 28:1–7 NLT)
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb. These were the two women who were watching the tomb as Joseph of Arimathea buried Jesus’ body the day of the crucifixion. Apparently the angel arrived at the tomb at just the same time as the women did, and very considerately rolled aside the stone for them! The guards were still on duty, but the angel scared them so bad they fainted dead away! See, I told you guarding the tomb wasn’t going to keep Jesus in there!
The angel seems to have ignored the guards, but spoke encouragingly to the women. He told them four things and I think the same four things apply to us, right now, today! Here they are:
Don’t be afraid! With all that’s happening in the world and in our lives, it’s easy to get afraid! We need to be reminded that God is at work in the world, through the followers of Jesus, by his Spirit, and that he can even send an angel when necessary!
Jesus is risen! Death is not the end. And all the bad things that can happen before death are not the end. And because Jesus is risen, we have the assurance of eternity!
Come and see! Step forward, seek, knock, and press into the life of faith. Experience the assurance that comes when you get off the couch and move forward in faith.
Go and tell! Our message is to tell what we’ve seen and experienced. We don’t have to be great theologians and we don’t have to have all the answers! Tell what you know!
Father, You did it! You brought Jesus alive from the tomb and defeated the last great enemy! Death will never be the same after Jesus’ resurrection and we know that there’s life on the other side. Help us to hold that reality firmly and let it shape our thinking about our own lives and the lives of those we love. I believe in life everlasting! Amen!