REASON FOR REJOICING

An angel appeared and spoke to them.

It is imperative that we understand that what takes place, according to the record of Matthew, follows the events of the previous days.  Jesus had been crucified, and every precaution possible had been applied to guarantee that His body could not be removed.  There was even the expression that the disciples might try to steal it away.  The fact that these women came to the tomb, indicated their knowledge of Jesus death, and what they brought with them, and then confirmed in their thinking that He was dead.  More explicit facts are confirmed in the other Gospels, (Mark, Luke, John) that there was only one possibility when they arrived-Jesus was dead!

At their arrival numerous things took place. There was the earthquake!  The guards were awakened.  The stone was rolled away from the entrance.   An angel appeared and spoke to them.  So momentous was the activity that the guards were “shook with fear” and ended “became like dead men”.  Please do not by- pass the statement that their clothing was “as white as snow”.  I note this because it crossed the culture of that hour.

The clarity of the words spoken: “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified.  He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said, Come, see the place where He was lying.”

We can get caught up in, what happened to the spices or we can recall the words of the angel and enter the opened tomb to behold the absence of the body of the Lord Jesus and the explanation given… “remember what He said!”

Jesus had conquered death!  He had risen!  Our risen Christ has conquered death, the most feared experience that confronts the average man.  With that assurance He beckons us to “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

The message is clear, the three persons of the God-head are equally identified, the persons to whom they were to go are specified, the continuity of His presence is assured and the cessation will be “to the end of the age.”

The privilege of fulfilling that resurrection proclamation is ongoing to us, His recipients.

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