Text: Matthew 28:1-20
“Don’t be afraid.”
The lightning-clad angel sat on the stone that had sealed the entrance to Jesus’ borrowed tomb. The guards lay shocked and crumpled on the ground where they once stood to guard the dead body of the man they’d mocked as “King of the Jews” just days before. The Marys—Mary Magdalene and the other—approached, surely shaken by the scene they’d come upon.
“Don’t be afraid,” the angel told them, “because I know you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here. For he has risen, just as he said.” And then? “Go,” he said to the women. “Go quickly and tell his disciples” (Matthew 28:5-7).
So they went, and quickly. Leaving the tomb “with fear and great joy,” the women hurried to tell the twelve-turned-eleven the news. Could it be?
And then they saw Him.
“Greetings!” Jesus said to the women, and they fell to His feet in worship.
“Do not be afraid,” He said. “Go… tell my brothers…”
So they went, and they told. And the eleven went on to Galilee as instructed, heads hanging low yet hearts beating with hope. Could it be?
And then they saw Him.
Some believed, some doubted. All worshiped.
The risen Christ was standing there in front of them, the ones He came to save. The saving work—all of it—was finished (John 19:30).
And here’s what He said to them, to us (Lean in close):
“All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.” There was and is and will be nothing or no one more powerful than Jesus. He sits at the right hand of God the Father, His reign without end.
“Go, therefore,” Jesus continued, “and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you.” Go. Tell.
“And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20). He is with us and will never leave us. Remember. Always.
Oh, the glory of this blessed day—the day our Christ walked out of the grave, saying, “Greetings!” How can we but celebrate?
Our promised Savior has come, and His work is complete. We cannot add to it or take away from it. It cannot be undone (Ephesians 2:8; John 10:28).
Our Redeemer has risen. “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” The risen Jesus is the “yes” to all God’s promises, echoing throughout eternity (1 Corinthians 15:54; 2 Corinthians 1:20).
Our hope is eternally secure. The Holy Spirit is the down payment of our future glory sealed in Christ (2 Corinthians 1:22).
We will not find our Lord in a tomb. He has risen, just as He said.
Do not be afraid.