From Gloom to Great Joy

                                             MATTHEW 28

As Mary and Mary were going to the tomb early in the morning, their hearts were certainly weighed down with the recent events. Jesus was dead. He had just suffered a terrible death. Their dreams of the Kingdom vanished. What happened? How could this be? What would all His followers do now? And now they were going to anoint His terribly abused and mutilated body. This would also be a very traumatic and emotional experience. Remember that they were going to the tomb in unbelief. It would be very difficult for us to understand the mental and emotional shock they were about to experience!

When they got to the tomb, an angel of the Lord had rolled away the stone and he was sitting on it. His appearance was like lightning and his clothes were white as snow. The guards shook with fear and became like dead men. Not exactly what the women were expecting!

The angel said " Do not be afraid, I know that you came looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for HE HAS RISEN just as He said. The angels announced His birth and now an angel announced His resurrection. Come and see the place where He was lying." Could this be true? Was this really happening? " Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead, and behold He is going before you into Galilee, there you SHALL SEE HIM!"

Wow! Can you imagine what this news did to them? Talk about emotional and mental overload! What a turnaround! We saw Him die! We saw His mutilated body on the cross! They departed quickly with fear and great joy. Going to see Jesus should give us great joy.

Then Jesus met them and greeted them. Impossible but true. All they could do was take hold of His feet and worship Him. He IS God! They were completely humbled in His presence. Jesus said, "Do not be afraid, go and take Word to My brethren to leave for Galilee, and there they shall see Me." At the same time, the guards reported to the chief priests what had happened. They bribed them with a large sum of money to lie about what happened. They also said they would win over Pilate too. Now, where did this large sum of money come from? Most likely the people's tithes. They were using God's money to lie about God's Son and His disciples and His resurrection. A very serious offense against God! Of course, this did not stop the Gospel from spreading. Nothing can or will stop the Gospel from spreading.

Jesus met the disciples at the mountain and gave His great charge to the disciples and the church. "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

This was Jesus's message after His resurrection. Make disciples. Baptize them and teach them. This is what we are called to do today. This is why the church exists. It is not about us. It is about others out in the world. It is not by our authority or our experience. It is in the authority of the Holy Trinity. Let this be our focus and desire in these very uncertain and troubling times.

                                                    THINGS TO CONSIDER

Do you act in belief or unbelief to what Jesus said?

Are we making disciples for Him?

Do we build His church by His authority and not ours as believers in Jesus?

As His people celebrate the Resurrection, have you ever accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord of your life? That great miracle was for you too! No other God has died for you and promised to be with you but Jesus. Please come to Him today!

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