Scripture: Matthew 28:1–10
Key verses: (6-8) 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.
Reflection: Imagine with me and close your eyes. Take yourself there.
The Sabbath sun is rising; the dust picks up around the city; there is a chill to the air that is strikingly different from any other morning. Your head is covered out of custom and out of fear and your heart is covered with the pain that accompanies grief. With your friend you begin to walk down a long road. Arriving at the tomb of Jesus, you see guards watching over the entrance that is sealed by a large stone. For a brief moment there is silence that penetrates your soul. All of a sudden the earth begins to shake; violently the world seems as if to crumble beneath you. You gather your footing and look up and see a flash of lightning strike the stone. The stone rolls back exposing the entrance to the tomb. But this lightning is different. It stays. It has form. It is an angel dressed in all white. You turn to the guards, but they are overcome by fear and fall to the ground and lay motionless. The radiant angel looks at you and says, “Do not be afraid, for I know you are looking for Jesus” This too penetrates your soul. Your mind begins to race. What? How? Why? Who? Without a second to think the angel continues, “He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.”
What do you do now? Do you go into the tomb? The angel tells you to come and see that Jesus is no longer in the tomb. But do you need to see for yourself or do you believe. I wonder how difficult that moment would be. I imagine being awe-struck, all the while stuck between fear and joy. Matthew does not tell us if the women went in. After the angel’s instructions, we are told the women hurry away.
You and your friend follow the angel’s orders and hurry away from the tomb. You are filled with fear and joy, running as fast as you can to find the disciples. Trembling with adrenaline, breathing heavy, dust flying, wiping sweat from your brow. You see a man on the path with you. Where did he come from? Who is it? All doubt and fear leave you with one word. “Greetings.”
Prayer: Lord, I believe; help my unbelief. Amen.
Author: Ben Brannan
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].