14 day plan

Easter: Excerpts from 'A Year With Jesus'

Day 13 of 14


Matthew 28:5

5The angel spoke to the women. “You must not be afraid,” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.

Reflection:  The scene is a graveyard early in the morning. Two world-weary women are unable to let go. They’ve followed Jesus from Galilee, they’ve gone through the trauma of seeing him die and their hopes and dreams die with him, and now they’ve come to see his grave. For them, everything has come to an end; they see it, they feel it and they know it.

Graves speak so eloquently. When you
gaze upon a grave you come face to face with the dreadful reality of the human condition. Humanity’s last and greatest enemy has won. It’s thoughts like these that no doubt filled the minds and broken hearts of the two Marys as they made their way to Jesus’ tomb just before daybreak on Easter Sunday. 

Until they turn that final corner in the twilight of dawn and are almost blinded by one whose  appearance is like lightening. Instantly their hearts are gripped with fear. He’s seated on the huge stone that should have been blocking the entrance to Jesus’ tomb. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid…”.  And then he spoke words that would unleash a turmoil of emotions, words that would change the world
forever: ‘Jesus isn’t here. He’s risen from the dead. Just like he said he would (Matthew 16:21; 17:9; 17:23 and 20:19). Come and see for yourself.’ 

The angel tells the women to come, see, go and tell. Come. See. Go. Tell. Let’s look at each of these very briefly. 

Through the angel, the Lord was inviting them to come and see that Jesus had risen. Through the preaching of the gospel, God invites you to come to him. He is speaking to you when he says in Matthew 11:28-29 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened…” Have you come? Have you obeyed that invitation? 

See. Come and see. What should we see when we look upon that empty tomb? Firstly, we should see the condescension of Jesus Christ, that he would die for us. Second, we should see the horror of our sin, because it was our sin that put him there. Third, as we look into that tomb we should be reminded that we too will die. Fourthly, and most importantly, when we look into that tomb we must see that Jesus is not there. He is risen. He has conquered death. And fifthly, as we look into the tomb, we learn that we shall also rise from the dead
just as he did if we are joined with him. Are you joined with him? He has conquered death and through him we can too. 

All that remains then is to ‘go and tell’. Now that we have come and seen the good news of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ through the testimony that has been handed down to us, it is over to us to go and tell others, just as they did.

Question:  Do you see how Jesus’ death and resurrection changes everything? Are you obeying his call to go and tell others the good news?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we praise you that through the work of your Son, humankind’s greatest enemy has been defeated. We
praise you that through Jesus, we no longer need to live in fear of death. Thank you, so much, that as Christians we can now live the fullest and happiest and most meaningful lives possible on earth, in anticipation of eternal life with Jesus to come. Amen.

We are reading the Bible with Paul White until 7th April.

Matthew 28:1-20

The Resurrection

(Mark 16.1-10; Luke 24.1-12; John 20.1-10)

1After the Sabbath, as Sunday morning was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. 2Suddenly there was a violent earthquake; an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled the stone away, and sat on it. 3His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4The guards were so afraid that they trembled and became like dead men.

5The angel spoke to the women. “You must not be afraid,” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6He is not here; he has been raised, just as he said. Come here and see the place where he was lying. 7Go quickly now, and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from death, and now he is going to Galilee ahead of you; there you will see him!’ Remember what I have told you.”

8So they left the tomb in a hurry, afraid and yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.

9Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Peace be with you.” They came up to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. 10“Do not be afraid,” Jesus said to them. “Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”

The Report of the Guard

11While the women went on their way, some of the soldiers guarding the tomb went back to the city and told the chief priests everything that had happened. 12The chief priests met with the elders and made their plan; they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers 13and said, “You are to say that his disciples came during the night and stole his body while you were asleep. 14And if the Governor should hear of this, we will convince him that you are innocent, and you will have nothing to worry about.”

15The guards took the money and did what they were told to do. And so that is the report spread around by the Jews to this very day.

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

(Mark 16.14-18; Luke 24.36-49; John 20.19-23; Acts 1.6-8)

16 The eleven disciples went to the hill in Galilee where Jesus had told them to go. 17When they saw him, they worshiped him, even though some of them doubted. 18Jesus drew near and said to them, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Go, then, to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples: baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, 20and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And I will be with you always, to the end of the age.”