Matthew 28: 5-6a
The angel said to the women, “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.” NIV
Many months ago, I began working through the listings of the word “fear” in my King James concordance, paying special attention to the phrase, “fear not,” which is often a reminder not to worry.
I’ve worked my way through the Old Testament listings, and have been looking at verses in Matthew, the first book of the New Testament, for the last few days.
While the Old Testament is filled with prophecy of the Messiah’s coming, Matthew tells the story of Christ’s life.
At this point in the book, Jesus has been crucified and buried.
On the morning of the third day, these women have journeyed out to the tomb to do the things to a body that would traditionally be done in their culture before laying someone to rest. There had been no time to do these things for Jesus, because, as I understand it, he died too close to sundown … the beginning of the Sabbath … on which the people were forbidden to work.
I can’t imagine the devastation and worry those women must have felt as they made their way out to where Jesus was buried. The man that they thought would be the savior, their king, has been brutally murdered … what’s next?
Next is the glorious end to the story … the fulfillment of the prophecy.
When they arrive at the tomb, they receive what, I think, is the most powerful reminder not to worry in the whole Bible.
“He is not here … He has risen.”
As I sit here in front of my computer, words fail me. It’s impossible to know the joy, and/or confusion these women must have experienced in the presence of the angel that gave them this news. Verse 4 says that the guards that were there at the tomb, “were so afraid of (the angel) that they shook and became like dead men.” NIV
But, there is nothing to fear. He’s not dead in a tomb … He has risen, just as he said.
That’s what I’ll think about today.