Do Not Be Afraid!

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.” (Matthew 28:5-7)

The busyness of life, the cares of this world, the demands of a job, a home, a family, all keep us from a closer intimacy with the God of all creation.
Those disciples who are constantly seeking after the Savior are privileged indeed to receive deeper and higher revelations of truth. All are invited, yet few actually experience the fullness of a life lived in Christ. The busyness of life, the cares of this world, the demands of a job, a home, a family, all keep us from a closer intimacy with the God of all creation. Somewhere along the way we have gotten our priorities flipped and we find ourselves flopping all about like a fish out of water. We easily spin out of control when our sights are not centered on the Master. He is to be our gaze, our fixed focus. The writer of Hebrews tells us this:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:1-3)

Jesus ever woos us to go further with Him. His constant invitation is “Come.” Like a mother who is teaching her child to walk, He sweetly holds out His hands, bidding us come to Him. He knows He is the answer to all our questions.

“No one has ever lost out by excessive devotion to Christ.”
-H. A. Ironside
He knows He is the only One who can truly satisfy our souls. True peace cannot exist in a heart void of Christ. Neither can it exist in a divided heart between the love of the world and the love of the Master. There is no room for Jesus left in a heart that is filled with anxiety, anger, hate, bitterness, greed, distrust, and selfishness. On the other hand, when one is filled with the Living Water, there is no room for that sort of nonsense. Ah yes, the sufficiency of Christ!

But we have work to do. We have errands to run. We are too busy! And we find ourselves flat out missing the angelic visit. I wonder if Mary Magdalene and the other Mary had work to do. I wonder if their floors needed sweeping. I wonder if dishes were stacked in their sinks. I wonder if there were meals to be prepared. Somehow, I think they chose higher and were therefore abundantly rewarded for it. Funny how we go from minutes, to days, to weeks, to months, to years, continuously soft pedaling our faith, compartmentalizing it, making it a “Sunday matter,” one that we can barely squeeze in to our all-important schedules.

“Your only hope for joy, your only hope for peace, your only hope for comfort, your only hope for strength and your only hope for love in this life—is found in the cross of Jesus Christ. Your only hope in this life is found in the brutal, bloody, humiliation of a naked man on a wooden post. My hope is that you go out of this building clinging to the cross of Christ.” -David Platt

The ladies in our verses for today had their priorities straight and they were blessed by their choice. They were the first to hear of Jesus’ resurrection–and by an angelic visitation at that! The angel’s first words to them of “Do not be afraid” indicate he came in kindness to encourage. He did not come to frighten or terrorize. He knew they were looking for Jesus. Those who seek Jesus have no need to be fearful. The angel assures the women of Christ’s resurrection, encouraging them to go and examine the empty tomb. He reminds them this was just as our Lord had said. This was enough to silence their fears.

Take It to Heart

The angel ends his proclamation with the words, “Now I have told you,” indicating his mission is accomplished and now placed in the hands of those who will proclaim it to the world. He had completed his errand and faithfully delivered the message. Now it was their turn. Now it is ours.

Previous  – Next