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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Easter Story I Completely Forgot

Photo: Free Bible Images

Have you ever known a Bible story, studied it many times, and then, “pop!” you see something you never saw before? That happened to me in our Easter Sunday service.

I know it’s after Easter, the kids have eaten all the candy, and the colored plastic eggs and plastic grass have been bundled away again in your holiday box. But, this is just too good not to share.

In our church, we were reading the accounts of Christ’s resurrection from all four Gospels. We read of Mary Magdalene, the women who went to the tomb with spices, Peter and fast-running John, and the two disciples who walked with Jesus on the way to Emmaus.

And then, I saw something new! I’m so excited, I have to share it. 

Read with me Matthew 28:1-10. In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.

Let’s take a little pause, here. So far, this is the story we’re familiar with. I always chuckle about the big, tough Roman soldiers shaking in fear. This must have been an incredible scene, since there was a powerful earthquake while the angel was moving the stone!

And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which 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, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.

So very awesome! God let these women know that Jesus had risen. They were the first on the scene, and the angel told them exactly what had happened. He is not here: for he is risen! 

So, the women left—quickly, running—to tell the good news. And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.

They came to a screeching halt. 

Why?

And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.

This is what I’d forgotten. These women actually saw Jesus. Not only that, but they had the opportunity to worship the risen Christ! Can you even imagine it?

I believe that sometimes we get a twisted view of biblical gender equality. We forget that the Son of God first revealed His resurrected Self to women and trusted the greatest message on earth to them, first.

Mary Magdalene thought he was the gardener. When Jesus said her name, she knew Him and responded “Rabboni.” (John 20:14-16)

In our storythe women were Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James,, and other women that were with them (Luke 24:10). We’re not sure who the other women were, but the fact is that there were at least five women in our wonderful scene. They saw Jesus! They were on their way to tell the disciples, and Jesus met them in the way! Isn’t that wonderful!


What was their response? Worship. Humble, prostrating worship.

What are the lessons for us from this new, old story?
  1. Jesus wanted these women to see Him. He knew they already believed the resurrection, but He wanted to reveal Himself to them bodily.
  2. Our response to seeing Jesus—spiritually speaking, until we get to heaven—should be worship. Grabbing His feet worship.
  3. After that, we’re to share the good news of the gospel—Jesus’ death for our sins, burial, and resurrection.

Thank God for the resurrection of Jesus Christ! Thank God for forgiveness of sins! Thank God for salvation! Thank God we serve a risen Savior!

This is the message of Easter!


4 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Yes! What a blessing! Thank you, Andrea!

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  2. It's always exciting to come upon a "new, old" truth and see it in different ways. It just reminds us what an inexhaustible treasure the Bible is to us. Thanks for pointing out this wonderful message (:

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! It's true. The Bible is so full! God bless you, Sandra.

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