TEXT: Matthew 28:1-10
1 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.
2 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.
3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:
4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
7 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.
8 And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.
9 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.
10 Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.
Billy Graham said, “The most important events in human history were the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The resurrection blasts apart the finality of death, providing an alternative to the stifling settling dust of death and opens the way to new life.”
Friday and Saturday of Holy Week were gloomy days for the disciples of Christ. Of course, they felt ashamed and embarrassed that they had fled and abandoned Jesus at the most crucial moment. But now it was all over. Jesus had been humiliated before the world, and they, as His followers, had been humiliated as well. Jesus was dead. Jesus was buried. Jesus was gone. During the hours of Friday and Saturday, we can imagine the disciples vacillating between the stages of grief — denial, anger, depression. And then, as Sunday morning dawned, with it dawned acceptance.
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus as was the custom of the Jews toward their dead. They were ready to accept that Jesus was gone for good. They would honor Him, remember Him, and live as He taught them to, but from that moment they had to learn to live without Jesus. Imagine their shock when they got to the tomb and found the stone rolled away. Even then, it did not occur to them that Jesus might have risen from the dead. John informs us that they ran to tell himself and Peter, “They have taken away the LORD out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.” Thankfully, when they return to the tomb there is an angel sitting atop the rolled away stone who tells them, “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.”
So ends the first great chapter of history and so begins the next, with death undone and Jesus alive. And that is what we celebrate this and every Easter. But Easter is not just a celebration; it is a catalyst for action. And, in this passage, we see three actions that each of us should undertake not only on this day, but every day as believers.
First, the resurrection means that we should have great joy. In verse 8, we read that Mary and Mary Magdalene “departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy.” The Greek word translated as “fear” means to be alarmed or to have dread; it was a common reaction for those who had encounters with angels in the Bible. Hence the common greeting, “Fear not.” But the women left Jesus’ tomb also with great joy because they had received the news that Jesus was not dead, but that He had risen just as He said. In fact, when the women meet Jesus, the first thing He says to them is, “All hail!” The Greek word simply means, “Rejoice!” or “Be glad!” Jesus just shows up, fresh from death, and says, “Rejoice!” Why? ‘Because I’m here, I’m alive, I’m not dead.’ That is a reason for great joy.
Then, the resurrection means that we should worship Jesus. When the women met Jesus as they were leaving the tomb, “they held him by the feet, and worshipped him.” The word “worship” means to reverence or adore. If anyone had any doubts about who Jesus is or whether or not He is truly God, those doubts are blasted away by the resurrection. No matter what can be said about other religious teachers or faith leaders, no one can say that they raised themself from the dead or raised others from the dead. Jesus did both — and raised others from the dead on multiple occasions, demonstrating His complete authority over life and death. For that reason alone, He deserves our worship.
Finally, the resurrection means we should go and tell the good news. That is what the angel told the women to do — “Go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead.” And that is what Jesus told the women to do as well — “Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.” The resurrection is good news; it is news worth telling to a lost and dying world. It is news that opens the door to salvation from sin and an eternity in Hell. And we ought to go “quickly” and tell this news wherever we can.
For those who do not know Jesus Christ as Savior, the resurrection is the confirmation that Jesus is the Son of God, and that, through Him, you can experience fellowship with God now, resurrection in the future, and eternal life forever. That is why He came into the world, died on the Cross, and rose from the dead — for you. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.