This past Sunday was Easter Sunday, or better termed: Resurrection Sunday. The purpose of Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday is really to celebrate and remember that Jesus Christ came down to earth as God in a body and dwelt among us (John 1:14). We praise and worship Jesus Christ because He came not only to dwell among us, to be tested and tempted in every way like we are so that He could identify with us (Hebrews 4:15), but He came to die for us and to rise from the dead three days later to show His victory over sin, victory over death, and victory over Hell and Satan.
The fearless passage we are looking at today comes on the heels of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. Matthew records that on the third day, Sunday morning, “Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb” (28:1) that Jesus had been buried in. When they got to the tomb, the stone blocking the entrance had been rolled away and an angel of the Lord was sitting on the stone just hanging out, waiting for them. The guards were so afraid of the angel that they passed out! Here’s what happens next in Matthew 28:5-6:
Then the angel spoke to the women. ‘Don’t be afraid!’ he said. ‘I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying.
This is crazy! They went to see the dead body of Jesus and instead they encountered an empty grave.
The angel continues on, telling the women to go back to tell the disciples what had happened. As they are running quickly away from the tomb to go to the disciples, Jesus greets them. When they saw their Risen Savior, Jesus Christ, the women “ran to him, grasped his feet, and worshiped him” (Matthew 28:9). After the women run to him, Jesus tells them this, in verse 10:
Then Jesus said to them, ‘Don’t be afraid! Go tell my brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see me there.’
Why don’t we have to be afraid? How can we live a fearless life? We can because Jesus Christ is risen from the dead. He is not the God of the dead, but is the God of the living (Luke 20:38). We can live with confidence and hope because Jesus Christ is risen, He gives us the opportunity to respond in faith to the Gospel, and He sets us free from the power of sin, becomes our righteousness so that we can have a right standing with God through the righteousness of Jesus.
Place your faith and your hope and your trust in Jesus Christ. He will never let you down. He will never leave you. He will never forsake you. He is with us always, even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20). Don’t be afraid and don’t lose hope. Jesus Christ is alive and the source of all our hope, joy, freedom and righteousness.