Prepare to Listen. This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24)
Prayerfully Read Matthew 28:1-10
After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. 5But the angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. 6He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 7Then go quickly and tell his disciples, “He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.” This is my message for you.’ 8So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9Suddenly Jesus met them and said, ‘Greetings!’ And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshipped him. 10Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.’
“Greetings!” According to Matthew, this was Jesus’ first word after his resurrection. A simple greeting to two faithful women racing back to Jerusalem with their message from the angel for the disciples—Jesus was alive and going ahead of them to Galilee. They had no proof of that claim. In fact, there were no witnesses to the actual resurrection. The most significant event of the Christian faith and not a soul witnessed it as it took place; not the soldiers guarding the tomb; not the women waiting opposite the tomb and not the male disciples. Not only that, the only people to see the resurrected Jesus in Jerusalem were these two women when Jesus suddenly met them on the way back and said, “Greetings!”
On hearing the angel, the women “left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.” On seeing and hearing Jesus’ single word, “they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshipped him.” What more could they do?
Today we celebrate, once again, the remarkable news, “He is not here; for he has been raised.” In this, the strangest Easter probably for all us, shouting a joyous ‘Hallelujah, Christ is risen,’ will take courage and faith. Imagine being with the two women as they ran back and imagine hearing Jesus’ one word spoken to you, “Greetings!” What’s your gut emotion and first thought?
Respond to Jesus
I bow before you, risen Lord, take hold of your feet in all humility and worship you in joy, anticipating that joy when the virus as finally passed. Amen.
Go live obediently in the world. Keep waiting in hope for the day when you truly can, Take up your tambourines and go forth in the dance of the merrymakers (from Jeremiah 31:4b) because the pandemic is over.
Because I believe that Scripture is food for our soul (our entire being) I seek to read it and encourage others to read it in ways that nourish and transform our beings. I invite you to read the Bible with me during Lent and into Easter. I am a Bible teacher, spiritual companion and retreat director. I know the Bile and how to read it for spiritual formation.