by Christina Farris
1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:
4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
7 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.
8 And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.
9 And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.
10 Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me. Talking about fear this weekend, perhaps because fear comes in many forms, from shock, and from anticipation of meeting or seeing someone you have not seen in years. There is a healthy fear and respectful fear and then there is the fear of the unknown, of what we can not even imagine occuring or being. There are things in our life we see without answers.Earthquake occurred when Jesus arose from the grave. The keepers of the tomb became like dead men, probably fainted when Christ came out of that tomb full of shock, because also an angel descended down and rolled away the stone. My question is had they not seen enough from two days ago to understand the resurrection was possible, after all others had come out of the tombs on the day of the resurrection and walked into Jerusalem. Perhaps it was fear, because they were watching that grave never expecting anything to happen, perhaps it was the appearance of the angel, perhaps it was the fear of death, that caused them to become like dead men. Then we got the women that had witness the event and yet the angel answer the women that were there as if they cried out where is Jesus. After all the tomb was empty. Yet the angel said "he is risen come and see the place he was and go tell the disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he goes before you in Galilee, there you shall see him." And they went quickly to tell, but Jesus came to the women and they bowed and worshipped and held to Christ feet. Then he repeats what the angel said and tells them to tell their brethren and to go to Galilee. That is where Jesus grew up, Nazareth was a little town there. So this is area he would of been most familiar with and so would the disciples.
Fear that causes us to tremble at what we hope for, or fear of what we can not imagine. Fear to be in the presence of Christ or fear at not believing our Lord. Woman had no issue it seems with the resurrection especially after being confirmed of the resurrection by seeing Jesus, but the keepers of the tomb were in shock and in fear of what did happen. What are we seeing might been something thought about. How come he is coming out of the tomb, how is that angel rolling away the stone.
To believe or to hear stories of strange events is one thing but to experience a strange event is another. To see a cycle of events that had been perhaps events perhaps once rumor of a possibility and not a reality before, now fully come to be. No doubt those that witness every bit of the crucifixion had fear upon them when the reality of Christ resurrection occurred. For not one did anything to prevent it, beyond the slicing off of a high priest's servant's ear. The guilt not being able to protect Jesus had to be in their hearts. The sight of Jesus being whole beyond his scars must of been a sight to behold. The holes remaining like a piercing. and the wound on his side still open enough to put your hand in. Yet all the woman could do when they seen him was bow and worship, not in fear but joy and elation of the event, and fear in reverence not in fear of what Jesus was going to do.
How do we respond to the impossible when it occurs in our life. How do we respond to the hope before us at the impossible that just occured. When Christ returns many of us will be amazed and joyful beyond words and yet song will come from our voice. Yet the reality, is still yet to come, because many have heard the gospel only to reject it and not fear it, so the day of Christ coming will be shock to them, and they will be like the keepers at the tomb, and yet without death, and only fear of torment to come.
There is no greater fear then revence one can have for God in the since of willing to obey knowing his plan and will is best for our lives and the lives of others. To obey because we know not to obey will cost us even more. Obedience does not save, only faith in Christ guarantees salvation, yet obedience is a part of faith, and reverence to our God. We know Mary of Bethany believed in the resurrection one of the women at the tomb, name given in one of the other Gospels. We know she understood, yet it became her reality when not only her brother had risen from the grave by Christ power but when Christ himself came out of the tomb. The first shockwave of resurrection handle with her brother, and then Christ power to rise was clearly understood and fully realized with the angel's words.
No wonder the woman went to tell the disciples. No wonder they were able to go so readily. And no wonder the fear and elation of seeing Jesus brought them to bowing and clinging to his feet. Bowing was not unusual position for Israel even to heirachies. So this position was a reverent one. One not only reserved necessarily for Christ. Today we might want to run and embrace, and yet we also want to bow, maybe even waiting for him to lift us to our feet. Yet perhaps the sight alone of Christ is enough to not only bring bewilderment, but excitment of knowing all we hope for is yet to come. Is it enough to spur you on, if you seen Jesus?
The question is new thought to some here, and perhaps not to others, but the reality is do we fear God enough to obey and to believe. Do we fear him enough to believe Christ will return. Even scoffs try and say Christ is buried in Jerusalem, but by scripture he was buried outside the city Jerusalem.
Dear Heavenly Father provoke us to the right type of fear in you, one of reverence not of fear of our punishment to come, but the fear of the hope of the believer of eternal life waiting for us to come, to know you will is coming with your Son's return. That those not in fear now will also bow at your Son's feet. In Jesus precious name, Amen.
Continual Scripture Study:Proverbs 2:1-8 KJV
1 My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;
2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;
3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;
4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;
5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.
6 For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
7 He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.
8 He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints.