Day 14 of 2 Weeks 2 the Cross: Matthew 28:1-10, 16-20
After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to view the tomb. Suddenly there was a violent earthquake, because an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and approached the tomb. He rolled back the stone and was sitting on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his robe was as white as snow. The guards were so shaken from fear of him that they became like dead men.
But the angel told the women, “Don’t be afraid, because I know you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here! For He has been resurrected, just as He said. Come and see the place where He lay. Then go quickly and tell His disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead. In fact, He is going ahead of you to Galilee; you will see Him there.’ Listen, I have told you.”
So, departing quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, they ran to tell His disciples the news. Just then Jesus met them and said, “Good morning!” They came up, took hold of His feet, and worshiped Him. Then Jesus told them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see Me there.”
The 11 disciples traveled to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had directed them. When they saw Him, they worshiped, but some doubted. Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
The ground shook with the force of the angel of the Lord hurtling toward the tomb to roll away the stone blocking the entrance (and exit). Roman soldiers were so frightened by the power of God they fell as dead. The angel tells the women, there to see where Jesus lay, to not be afraid but to believe.
“He is not here! He is risen, just as He said!!”
They listened and ran, hearts pounding with fear and overwhelming joy.
Just then, Jesus met them.
And these are the first recorded words of our risen Savior by this gospel writer:
What a morning! This morning turned the deepest grief into the most passionate praise! As the day dawned, death fell in defeat! Jesus is alive!! He is standing! He is seeking those whom He has called.
It is indeed the most wonderful and good morning in all of history.
Jesus continues to speak His “good morning” to all of us willing to hear and receive, each day. Jesus meets us where we need Him most, in the midst of our fear and our joy, to share it with us. Jesus not only wants to be in conversation with us, He wants to be our conversation, sending us to go and tell others how they can meet with and see Jesus.
Our response ought to be like Mary Magdalene and the other Mary: taking hold of His nail-pierced feet in worship.
That is why so many gather together in houses of God across the world today, on Easter Sunday. We celebrate and worship our Risen Savior, our Prince of Peace, our King of Kings, our Jesus who meets us and greets us with a precious Good Morning.
This afternoon, my family read the Scripture and shouted and cheered when Jesus rose! He is not here, He is risen!! And, we completed planting our Easter garden. The kids discovered that the stone had been rolled away and Jesus was no longer in the tomb. Then we planted morning glories around the crosses and near the grave as a sign of new life coming up from the ground, just as Jesus defeated death and rose from the depths of the Earth as our victorious King.
I hope as we wake up tomorrow, our 2 Weeks 2 the Cross journey now complete, we will see our garden and know it is, indeed, a Good Morning.
Jesus is risen!!!