The Resurrection

Matt 28:1-6 Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb. Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it. His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint. Then the angel spoke to the women. "Don't be afraid!" he said. "I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn't here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen...."

When an angel appeared to someone, it was usually a frightening event—but the Easter angel really shook things up. He caused an earthquake when he opened Jesus’ tomb—not to let him out but to show that the tomb was empty. The Roman guards were scared stiff by the quake. The angel, however, urged the witnesses to spread the good news that Jesus had risen from the dead!

It’s likely that both the earthquake and the angel’s appearance frightened the women who had come to the tomb. The angel had to calm their fears so that they’d hear him: “I know that you are looking for Jesus. . . . He isn't here!”

The resurrection of Christ is earth-shaking news. Fear of the Lord is appropriate, along with life-changing joy.

“Come, see where his body was lying,” the angel said. "go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead.’”

The witnesses saw and went and told, and witnesses have been telling ever since. Today, 2,000 years later, we also see, and we also must proclaim, “He has risen!”

And if that news is fearsome, we’ve got it right.



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