Matthew 28:1-6 (TLB) Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to the tomb. Suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and rolled aside the stone and sat on it. His face shone like lightning and his clothing was a brilliant white. The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and fell into a dead faint. Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be frightened!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified, but he isn’t here! For he has come back to life again, just as he said he would. Come in and see where his body was lying. . .
This morning coming into my quiet time – I am elated and in awe all over again. Easter – the greatest day in history – is here. A reminder of the resurrection power and new life that belong to me thanks to Jesus! I love Easter. I love to go to church and celebrate this awesome day with other believers. The day will be a little different this year – as the church obeys the government’s request to stay home – yet it makes this moment no less glorious. I cannot seem to find anything to ask for today. All I can do is say, “Thank you, Jesus!” Over and over again – I write it in my journal. I share often that His Resurrection changed everything for me. I cannot describe the difference Jesus Christ has made in my life by restoring a right relationship with God the Father and opening His Kingdom to me. I can share my experiences with you but I cannot every fully relate what only your heart can receive from the Father through the Son. So I decided to read God’s Word this morning – this was the passage I came to.
How many times have I read the Easter story? I’ve been a Christian for more than four decades so suffice it to say I have heard it and read it a lot. But these are the words that captured my heart today. The ones that stand out so vivid and clear. The testimony of my life that I hope will illuminate any dark space within you. Here it is:
“Don’t be frightened!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified, but he isn’t here!” For he has come back to life again, just like he said he would.” (Emphasis mine.)
Just like He said He would. This would define my experience with Jesus and my full expectation. Jesus will always do what He says He will do! In a world of uncertainty, I know that no matter what happens that Jesus is faithful and true. I didn’t discover this through impressive sermons or sensational worship. It wasn’t something that I came up with on my own. I found that at the end of my self – when I was broken beyond repair – that Jesus came to do exactly what He said that He would do. You will never find Jesus in the good times until you fully discover Him in tragedy. Face it friends – when life is good we think we can handle it but when our world falls apart – this is the time most will seek Him.
The women came to find their dead Messiah. They were there to honor the Rabbi who had left them for what He invested in them in this life. They did not expect to find an empty tomb and risen Lord. In that moment, their ashes were made beautiful, mourning turned to joy, and heaviness gave way to praise. It would not be remiss to worship God for Who He is. He is the Great I AM, after all. It might even be logical to honor Jesus as a historical figure. However, it is the moment that one nail-scarred foot stepped out of the grave that changed everything. It is the moment of realization that He will do everything “just like He said He would do” that our lives change forever. Not just our past, our present and future all locked in the Purpose and Plan of God.
When you know there will be a harvest – you will sow. When you know there is healing – you will believe. When you know there is a promise – you will obey. When you know He is coming – you will wait. When you know that He will do exactly as He says – you will seek Him day by day, minute by minute and breath by breath! Everything in our life will become centered on Christ when our heart and mind agree that He will do what He said He will do! The atmosphere begins to change as fear turns to faith and our hope is only in Him. Expectations transfer from imperfect people and impossible situations to the Perfect God and Savior who are perfectly in love with us. This is when the mundane life turns into the miraculous. This is when ordinary people do extraordinary things. Learning to be still and know is the birthplace of victory as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords fights for us. He will never leave us or forsake us. He is taking every detail of our life using it for our good and His Glory. This is all possible because Jesus does what He says!
Matthew 28:7-9 (TLB) And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and that he is going to Galilee to meet them there. That is my message to them.” The women ran from the tomb, badly frightened, but also filled with joy, and rushed to find the disciples to give them the angel’s message. And as they were running, suddenly Jesus was there in front of them! “Good morning!” he said. And they fell to the ground before him, holding his feet and worshiping him.
I cannot image the perplexity these women felt. What do you believe in that moment? Jesus alive. Is it even possible? Dare they allow their heart to give in to such an impossible thing? To believe that He is alive again. They were frightened. Yet still filled with hopeful expectation and joy which leads me to believe that they did indeed believe it was possible. In those moments following their exchange with the angel, I am quite certain that they began reminding each other of all the things Jesus told them He would do. Faith began rising. Hope came back to life. Jesus came to them. He was right there with them in that moment.
As you read this today, I hope that Resurrection Power is the source of your life. If it’s not, I pray that our living and loving Savior make Himself manifest to you in an undeniable way. To renew your faith. To revive hope in you again. I pray that His Holy Spirit dare you to trust Him one more time all the way to the end. At the end of ourselves, Jesus is always waiting. Impossibility is the threshold to the realm of hope that is our destination both now and forever. Jesus is alive and well. He is doing exactly as He said that He would do. Find Him in His Word. Find your promise and take hold of it by faith. Prayer over it each day. Make the resolution that you will indeed wait until He comes. He will come! Because that’s exactly what He said that He would do!
Happy Easter! I pray your home is happy, healthy and blessed today in Jesus Name!
John 16:33 (TLB) I have told you all this so that you will have peace of heart and mind. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows; but cheer up, for I have overcome the world.”