Posted on March 31, 2024 “Greetings!” and “Do not be afraid…” – An Easter Reflection
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“But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.”

So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

‭‭~ Matthew‬ ‭28‬:‭5‬-‭10‬ ‭NRSV‬‬

Easter is a time for joy. Hallelujah! He is Risen!!!

But as I read this passage today, I noticed and held close to my heart what must have been an unbelievable scene at Jesus’ tomb that day for the women who were visiting it.

Jesus is gone! Instead, they encounter an angel who invites them into his empty tomb. Where is God inviting us now to enter unknown places or spaces where we do not know what we will find or perhaps might find something we do not understand?

Undoubtedly, these women were transformed AGAIN by Jesus as they encountered their risen Lord and worshiped him. They were filled with both great joy and fear, but He calmed them, reassured them, and called them to share the news with the disciples.

I am also reminded that the story of the resurrection is joyful beyond words because of the experience of the pain and the cruelty of the cross. The women at the tomb would not have been able to worship Jesus with uncontainable joy if it were not for their experience of his ministry and all that came before his resurrection.

So as we celebrate the joy of Easter, let us praise God for all the ways that he continues to work and transform our hearts, transform our faith, transform our relationships, and calls on us to be agents of His Love in the world. If the joy of Easter is difficult today, then trust in Jesus’ words to the women at the tomb, “Do not be afraid,” for He is with you and will be always.

Blessings in His Name! May both God’s joy and calming presence be with you this week and in the weeks to come.

With love in Christ,

Christy, Abel and AJ