The Presence of Jesus
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.” (Matthew 28:8-10)
You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. (Psalm 16:11)
Recently I was having one of those days when I was aware of my need of Jesus. Being visual, I pulled a rocking chair next to my desk and imagined Him sitting with me throughout the day. I practiced His Presence. Throughout all of my mundane chores He remained right beside me. Throughout all the difficulties I faced in that day, He was right there to guide me. While I know that He is always with me, sometimes it helps to have a visual reminder.
“Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders.” (Deut 33:12)
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)
“Few delights can equal the mere presence of One whom we fully trust.” (George McDonald)
At the very beginning of our verses for today, we see the women obediently hurrying from the Master’s tomb with the angel’s orders ringing in their ears. I’m sure their mood was a strange mixture of terror and super-sized joy all working together! Surely they must have felt this news too good to be true, yet they were oh so hopeful. Could this be a dream? Casting aside their doubts, they hurry off to fulfill the angel’s instructions. Those sent on God’s mission must waste no time in loitering or lollygagging.
Paul tells us:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
Almost immediately, we find Jesus appearing to the women to confirm the angelic testimony. He graciously and unexpectedly comes to them while they are merely fulfilling their duty. Jesus is closer to His people than we might think!
These women were rewarded for their faithfulness immeasurably more than they could have asked or imagined (see Ephesians 3:20). They were the first to hear the good news and they were the first to see Jesus as well. When He appears to them these women immediately shower Him with the love and affection they have for Him, holding on to Him so as not to let Him go. I am reminded of how a young child grabs hold of its mother in a deathlike grip if he thinks she is about to leave without him! I think this was perhaps the reaction the women were having. They did not speak, they just affectionately embraced. Their adoration spoke volumes.
Take It to Heart
“We are not only to sing the doxology, but to be the doxology.”