When the women arrived at the ancient cemetery on the dawn of the Sabbath, they were greeted not by a cold, sealed tomb but by an angel, relaxing in the morning sunshine on the stone that had been rolled away!
Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.
But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.”
So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.
And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.”
Now while they were going, behold, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all the things that had happened. When they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, saying, “Tell them, ‘His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.’ And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will appease him and make you secure.” So they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.
Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted.
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
And what were the words of this angel?
“Do not be afraid!”
Let’s travel back in time about 33 years before this Resurrection morning when an angel was sent from heaven to announce the birth of Jesus. What did that angel say?
“Do not be afraid!”
When God arrives on the scene of our lives, He comes to take away all fear. Jesus lived and died to deal with your fear issues! If you are bound by fear, be set free today by the Savior Who could not be held by death!
The sealed grave, this Easter morning, was not opened to let Jesus out but to let the adoring women in. As these women, who were the first commissioned to tell the Gospel story, ran in celebration away from the cemetery, they were experiencing both fear and great joy.
Always allow your joy to be greater than your fear! Nothing in your life should be stronger than His joy. The joy those women experienced on that Sabbath morning caused them to fall on their faces in worship.
Some of the disciples worshiped while others doubted. Disciples have the same decision to make today. Will you worship or will you doubt?
Will you get on your face in worship or give into your fear?
The power and authority that Easter heralds should compel us all to go and make disciples. Once you have been told … you must go tell! God’s will for your life, and for my life, is to make disciples in our personal worlds.
The final truth of the Resurrection story is that He really is with you. He will be with you in all your tomorrows. We are sent out on the greatest task in all of History and are assured of the Greatest Presence that has ever lived on heaven or on earth.