“But the angel answered and said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.’ So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.” (Matthew 28.5-8, NKJV)
Yesterday I presented a challenge that we could all practice the words of Theodore Epp:
“Live as though Christ died yesterday, rose from the grave today, and is coming back tomorrow.”
We focused on the first part. What would it be like to appreciate what Jesus accomplished for us on the cross as though it just happened yesterday? How would that Good News impact us today? What kind of joy and freedom would we experience knowing that ALL our sins have been forgiven in full and that we are brand new creations in Christ with full access to the throne of grace?
Today we look at the second part. Our challenge: how can we live as though Christ rose from the grave today?
When the angel on the tombstone announced Christ’s resurrection to the women, they were filled with fear and great joy, and they ran to tell the disciples.
The first response of the women in seeing the angel was awesome fear, and as they left the tomb this fear still gripped their hearts. The apostle Paul, speaking to the Romans of the universal human condition, says, “There is no fear of God before their eyes” (Rom 3.18). The darkness of sin and this world blinds us to the reverential fear of God. But revelation restores this godly fear, which is essential for doing the will of God.
Second, news of the resurrection filled their hearts with great joy. I can’t explain what it is about Easter morning that so fills my heart with joy. We come to church celebrating Christ’s victory over death! But why must we rejoice in this only once a year? Christ’s victory is just as real today as it was last Easter or on that first Resurrection morning. The resurrection was the central message of the early church. I believe that is why the disciples were able to “turn the world upside down” (Acts 17.3, 6).
Third, the women ran to bring the good news. They were really the first evangelists (good-news-spreaders) of the resurrection. When was the last time I ran to tell others the good news that Jesus died for their sins and rose from the dead to give them new life? There is a sense of wonderful urgency in this.
I have observed a troubling tendency. We wait till someone is on his deathbed before telling him the good news. Often by that point it is too late. Why not run to tell him today?
When my daughter gave birth to our first grandchild earlier this month, I couldn’t wait to publish the pictures on Facebook. I did it from the hospital within an hour of Jaydon’s birth. When good news happens we can’t wait to spread it. So why don’t we spread the good news of the resurrection? If Jesus rose from the dead today would you tell someone? Who can I tell?
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