The Story of Jesus
We come the end of the story of Jesus on earth, according to Matthew, with great praise, joy and worship of our God Who performs the final act of victory. All irony is put down as foolishness. It is even amusing to read how God’s angel not only easily rolled away a stone so heavy it took many men to move it into place in front of the tomb where the body was laid three days earlier, but then sat on it. With lightening flashing, clothes shimmering, the angel sat on the enormous stone that was even sealed to keep the Savior inside. God’s angel had to be smiling.
It is also encouraging to me as a woman, to know the first to know about the empty tomb were the Marys who were devoted, who followed Jesus and kept watch over their Savior. It also makes me laugh a little to know God knows His creation of women and built in a communication/relational system that easily wants to go and tell! To begin with women…a no-brainer!
The Romans guards were scared to death, but the Marys listened the angel say, There is nothing to fear…Jesus is not here. He is risen, just as he said he would…go quickly, tell the others! “THAT IS THE MESSAGE!” How exciting it is just to read, imagine that day and think of THIS day the Lord has made and THE MESSAGE of go quickly and tell is still relevant, still our message to tell, Jesus Christ has risen indeed! God’s plan of bringing us back to Himself through the sacrifice of Jesus, His Perfect Son is complete. It’s not just for us. Go and tell!
Matthew 28, The Message
Risen from the Dead
28 1-4 After the Sabbath, as the first light of the new week dawned, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to keep vigil at the tomb. Suddenly the earth reeled and rocked under their feet as God’s angel came down from heaven, came right up to where they were standing. He rolled back the stone and then sat on it. Shafts of lightning blazed from him. His garments shimmered snow-white. The guards at the tomb were scared to death. They were so frightened, they couldn’t move.
5-6 The angel spoke to the women: “There is nothing to fear here. I know you’re looking for Jesus, the One they nailed to the cross. He is not here. He was raised, just as he said. Come and look at the place where he was placed.
7 “Now, get on your way quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He is risen from the dead. He is going on ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there.’ That’s the message.”
8-10 The women, deep in wonder and full of joy, lost no time in leaving the tomb. They ran to tell the disciples. Then Jesus met them, stopping them in their tracks. “Good morning!” he said. They fell to their knees, embraced his feet, and worshiped him. Jesus said, “You’re holding on to me for dear life! Don’t be frightened like that. Go tell my brothers that they are to go to Galilee, and that I’ll meet them there.”
11-15 Meanwhile, the guards had scattered, but a few of them went into the city and told the high priests everything that had happened. They called a meeting of the religious leaders and came up with a plan: They took a large sum of money and gave it to the soldiers, bribing them to say, “His disciples came in the night and stole the body while we were sleeping.” They assured them, “If the governor hears about your sleeping on duty, we will make sure you don’t get blamed.” The soldiers took the bribe and did as they were told. That story, cooked up in the Jewish High Council, is still going around.
16-17 Meanwhile, the eleven disciples were on their way to Galilee, headed for the mountain Jesus had set for their reunion. The moment they saw him they worshiped him. Some, though, held back, not sure about worship, about risking themselves totally.
18-20 Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: “God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.”
Dear Heavenly Father, Your Word excites and challenges us to go and tell in a new way with a new heart! Every time we read these words we are reminded Who we know and what we must go quickly and tell the others seeking. We pray for “others” who need to know you, too. We think of family and friends, of coworkers and acquaintances, of even our enemies and we pray for words and opportunity, led by Your Holy Spirit to tell…for THAT’S THE MESSAGE…We love you because you first loved us. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus Name, Amen! I believe.