• We meet two Marys at the tomb. Now we know the end of the story but imagine with us for a moment that we are walking with Mary Magdelene and the other Mary.
• When they show up on that Sunday they go to prepare JEsus Body for death. THey didn’t go to check on the tomb, they went in tradition for what they would have done for any body. They went to go and prepare the body like they would prepare any body.
• But then they were struck with the supernatural reality of the fact that what they thought was true, Jesus death, was not in fact true.
Jesus has experienced the place where both rejection and fear rule and was victorious against them in rising from the dead. He has invited us into something new.
• And when they meet Him they hear from Jesus. This morning I want to look at the resurrection of Christ from the first 5 words we hear in Matthew from Him.
• Greetings and
• do not be afraid
Matthew 28:9 ESV
And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him.
• This “greetings” is not a formal greeting. like we hear from the angel. This is a formal greeting. But Jesus is a familiar greeting.
• It is the greeting of One who is known and the One who knows.
• The Welcome and Embrace of Jesus as the first action from the tomb to the women is a reminder that the posture of the resurrection is one of welcome and invitation.
• The resurrection of Christ is the recognition that every human has come across a deep need and a definitive incapacity to meet that need.
• And Christ’s greeting is the posture that that need has been met. The capacity to solve humanities great need is in the resurrection.
• The resurrection is the recognition of what has been lost.
• The resurrection is the reminder that all that could die now has resurrection possibility.
1 Corinthians 15:14–17 ESV
And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.
• HE doesn’t chastise them for a lack of faith or for their fear, He embraces them in their lack of faith and their fear.
• The resurrection of Jesus is provided by the will and power of God.
• That is much bigger than our fear,
• Than our lack of faith.
• Jesus came to embrace and welcome what we reject
• in ourselves
• in others
• But it happens through resurrection power
Don’t Be Afraid
Matthew 28:10 ESV
Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”
• We hear this refrain all throughout the Bible. Do not be afraid. Partially because meeting with God is just shocking business.
• We have met the world and have recognized that it is more wobbly than we would have hoped
• Christ says, don’t be afraid
• If Jesus is Lord, If He has been raised from the dead,
• We don’t have to be afraid.
• So when Jesus says it on this side of the resurrection, we can believe it.
• Jesus takes the fear of the disciples and the fear of the women. And He redeems it, changes it, speaks into it. Jesus doesn’t speak past the fear, He speaks into it.
• Our role is to hear his words in light of His plan and experience.
• I mentioned this on Good Friday but author Simone Weil says that our response to affliction is either “we can’t” or “we must.”
• On Good Friday we follow Jesus into “We must.”
• On Easter Sunday, we change it to “we can’t” though “he did.”
• The resurrection itself is the reality that in the application of the raised life of Christ, everything is different.
• Christ lifts us to Himself to allow us to see what we can’t see
• And grants us strength and forgiveness and life where we didn’t have the strength to go on.