Christ Is Risen!
When the Sabbath was over,
Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome
bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body.
Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise,
they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other,
“Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”
(Filled with purpose, but filled with apprehension,
on a quiet and thankless mission of unappreciated and humble service,
these dedicated women were determined
to continue to minister to their dead Lord
in the only way they thought they could.
How often we only look at what's in our power and strength to do,
failing to appreciate the Lord's mighty agenda for us.
How often do we only look to our own resources,
failing to appreciate the Lord's mighty intervention in our lives.
How often do we only look at what's humanly possible,
failing to appreciate the Lord's presence and purposes.
Though the women were focused on a humble task,
the Lord planned far greater purposes and revelation for them.
When we go about our seemingly mundane and ordinary tasks today,
we can rely on the Lord to roll away the barriers blocking us
and to effect far greater revelations in our lives than we have known before.)
But when they looked up, they saw that the stone,
which was very large, had been rolled away.
(Looking in disbelief and even greater fear,
they looked into the gaping entry into death.
In our lives today what appears to be darkness and death and disintegrating decay,
what appears to be insurmountable circumstances,
may, in fact, under the Lord's touch, be the entry
into a new perspective and a new vision of reality
we've never before encountered.
Removing the barrier of this stone in the midnight hour
before the dawn of this day’s work is God’s work and His alone.
Who will remove the blockage? God will.
Who removes the blockage? God does.)
As they entered the tomb,
(Though fearful, they chose to enter into the darkness of their fears to see truth.
More than the stone having been rolled away, the tomb is empty!
Even as the truth they expected to see no longer lay there,
their eyes are opened to a new reality.
When we enter the darkness of our circumstances seeking Christ,
He reveals truths and power and reality to us that we have not imagined.)
they saw a young man dressed in a white robe
sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.
“Don’t be alarmed,” he said.
“You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, Who was crucified.
He has risen! He is not here.
See the place where they laid Him.
(Incredulous as he knew the women were,
not only to behold such a supernatural being,
but also to take in the incredible words he was speaking,
the angel gently attends to their fear and to their understandable skepticism
by tenderly guiding them to examine the tomb
to see for themselves that Jesus was no longer there.
May we lay aside our doubt and cynicism today
to look for Jesus in the midst of our circumstances
and to see His other-worldly provisions for us!)
But go, tell His disciples and Peter,
(Especially mindful of Peter
who had so dramatically and publicly failed the Lord
he had sworn he would never fail,
the angel gives clear instructions to tell Peter the good news,
to reassure him in his shame and humiliation and guilt.
What a tender reminder that the Lord
is always mindful of our personal and unique needs,
always reaching out to us to free us from guilt and failure.)
‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee.
There you will see Him, just as He told you.'”
Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb.
They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.
(Whatever lies ahead of us today, we can still be assured
that the Lord goes ahead of us in the Galilee of our today
and in that place He clearly reveals Himself to us.
In awe of what had been revealed to them,
without hesitation, without loitering, without telling anyone in their way
the astounding truth they had just witnessed,
the women fled from the holy presence of the angel.
Even though they had seen with their own eyes the truth of the empty tomb,
had been confronted with an angel of God who spoke to them,
had been given such astounding and earth-shattering news
of hope and triumph, still they fled in fear.
How like us still today,
even though we have been confronted with the Good News of the Kingdom,
been given the hope of salvation both for today and for eternity,
have had the truths of God's Word revealed to us by His Holy Spirit in us,
we still flee in fear from the Truth of His Presence in our lives,
running away and back to something more familiar.
Even in fear, however, the women still were faithful to the mission
which had been entrusted to them.
May our trembling and bewilderment in the face of the unexplainable in our lives
only lead us to the victory and assurance in Christ
that His resurrection offers us today,
and may we have the kind of holy fear that spurs us on
to walk out what the Lord asks us to do today!)
Christ Is Risen!
He Is Risen, Indeed!
May the Lord richly bless you this day!
In Christ's love,
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