Illuminating Lord, open me to the opportunities and possibilities of this day as I go through it with you.
Read MATTHEW 28:1–10
Jesus Has Risen
28 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Pray for the Holy Spirit’s presence in reading the Word, to feed your heart and mind with God’s love and grace.
For the women, the Sabbath must have felt like an endless wait. They knew they must anoint Jesus’ precious body, but the question of how to get into the tomb was formidable. When they finally arrived with prepared spices, they were utterly bewildered by what confronted them. Shocked, numbed soldiers in disarray – and an angel seated on the rolled-back stone – conveyed an unexpected reality: no body to anoint. As they entered the tomb and saw for themselves that it was empty, the angel’s words sank in. They were to tell the disciples that Jesus had risen and would meet them in Galilee.
When Jesus, very much alive, suddenly appeared to them, their old roles seem turned on their head. Instead of being those who fulfilled personal, domestic tasks of embalming a corpse and carrying messages, they became the first witnesses to Christ’s resurrection. Yet it was surely fitting. The faithful women who had been at the cross and tomb now saw and worshipped the risen Christ. They were appointed personally by Jesus, as the first evangelists to proclaim the good news of the most world-changing event in history: that he was indeed risen from the dead.
Jesus empowered the women to be the people he was calling them to be. As his newly appointed ambassadors, they could let go of fear, rejoice in his victory, and proclaim the gospel. So can we. Jesus’ calling is not limited to background, age, time, or culture. He can empower all those who believe and trust in him to be witnesses of his resurrection. God anoints us today to share the calling of those first eyewitnesses in proclaiming the good news of Christ’s sacrificial love and resurrection power.
Let’s thank God for choosing us to tell the message of Jesus’ amazing resurrection. Let’s pray that we may be faithful witnesses to his victory over sin and death.
Mighty God, what joys are mine because Jesus was raised from the dead. My fears are calmed, my heart is comforted, your Word is confirmed, and my life is changed forever.
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