Happy Resurrection Day!
Over the past week, we journeyed to the cross as we followed Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem to shouts of praise. Our journey included:
- Jesus being tempted in the wilderness
- His healing ministry
- His desire for us to feed His sheep both physically and spiritually
- The pain of heartbreak, denial, and betrayal
- His death on the cross for our sins
The past week culminates in Christ triumphing over death just as He said He would. Let’s pick up the story where we left off…at the tomb.
It was early Sunday morning, and Mary Magdalene, along with another Mary (not the mother of Jesus), went out to care for Jesus’ body.1
Before they arrived, an angel came and moved the stone, which left the guards speechless and like “dead men”.2
As the women arrived at the tomb, they encountered the angel as well. He told them,
“Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell the disciples.” – Matthew 28:5-7a
The women wasted no time – they bolted out of there to go share the good news with the disciples. Along the way, they had an encounter with the Risen Lord.3
He said to them,
“Greetings…Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” – Matthew 28:9
Imagine for a moment, that you are in the shoes of these women. You arrive to care for the Lord’s body with burial spices, and you are greeted by an angel. I think I would have reacted just like the women…stunned and speechless.
As you go to share the good news, the risen Lord meets you along your path. You recognize Him, and scripture says,
“They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him.” – Matthew 28:9
I imagine Jesus looking at them with eyes full of compassion with His arms outstretched, beckoning them to come to him for a hug. As they fell at His feet, they would have seen the nail marks on His feet. They might have even touched them.
Counter to the culture of the day, Jesus revealed Himself first to women who came to care for His buried body rather than from the shouts of men.
While the women were running to share the good news with the disciples, the guards were running into the city to tell the chief priests what had happened.
The guards appeared to get their voices back, and the chief priests bribed the guards to say, “the disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.”4
I wonder if the chief priests and other religious leaders had doubts while they handed over large sums of money to these guards, or were they more concerned with saving face?
Jesus and the Disciples Meet in Galilee
Jesus did meet up with eleven disciples in Galilee, just as He told the women. “When they saw Him, they worshiped Him, but some doubted.”5
The Gospel narratives (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) each record the resurrection differently based on their perspective. Some provide more detail, while Matthew provides a broader picture.
The one common thread throughout all the Gospel narratives is JESUS ROSE FROM THE GRAVE!
We celebrate Christ’s triumph over the grave today just as He said He would.
Today, as you gather with friends and family around an Easter table, take a few minutes to celebrate Christ’s conquering of the grave!
Even some of the disciples had doubts about Jesus' resurrection until He stood before them with His nail-scarred hands and feet.
We don’t have the benefit of seeing Christ’s nail-scarred hands and feet as His disciples did. Rather, we take it on faith what Christ did for us on the cross and how He rose from the grave.
Maybe you have questions about the cross, Jesus’ death, or His resurrection; I encourage you to reach out to friends or family and talk with them. You can also leave a comment here, and I will do my best to answer your questions.
Lord, thank you for sending Your Son to die on the cross for our sins and raising Him on the third day. Jesus conquered the grave, and we celebrate today in remembrance of what You did long ago. Thank you for Your grace and mercy. Amen.
- Holy Week 2021 series
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