He has Risen! (05-04-21)
Bible Reading: Matthew 28:1-10
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' Now I have told you."
So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me."
When it comes to reading to the grandchildren, they have so many great books to choose from. It’s good to read different ones, but there are some stories that they keep coming back to, books like The Gruffalo, Winnie the Pooh and Thomas the Tank Engine.
In the vast array of events and teachings recorded in the bible, the resurrection of Jesus is one that it is good to keep going back to. Matthew’s account is full of drama and contrasts. Imagine yourself in the scene.
It is Sunday morning, the day after the Sabbath when, in your grief, you have fulfilled all the rituals of the Sabbath the previous day and are now preparing to observe the rituals of burial.
Just when you think the worst is over, a violent earthquake shakes the ground, an angel appears like lightening, and you are filled with fear.
Add to the mix the realisation that Jesus’ body is no longer in the tomb, and the immortal words of the angel ‘He has risen!
You hurry away from the tomb ‘afraid yet filled with joy’ to tell your friends. And on the way you meet Jesus who says to you ‘Do not be afraid’.
When life is filled with confusion, grief and fear, and things seem to go from bad to worse, sometimes it is the daily rituals that give us structure and keep us going; doing the household chores, going to work, doing some daily exercise, or having a time of prayer and reflection.
It is into our daily rituals, and into the traumas of the last year, that the resurrection of Jesus bursts in to bring new life and hope. To each of us the Risen Christ says ‘Do not be afraid. Go and tell…’
Resurrected Lord, thank you that, into the confusion, grief and fear of the past year
you bring your transforming resurrected life.