After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
So many wonderful details from just these verses from that first Easter morning. Notice how what the angels says is echoed by Jesus. The angel told the women, “Do not be afraid.” That’s what Jesus said too. The angel said to go quickly and tell the disciples that Jesus has risen and is going ahead to Galilee. There you will see him.” Jesus said that to the women with one small change – he tells them to go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, for there they will see him.”
Once the angel met the women at the tomb, the women hurried away to do as the angel said and tell the disciples that Jesus has risen. But then, surprise! Jesus met them too, for Jesus wanted to greet them personally, rather than simply share the good news through an intermediary.
That’s what Jesus does best – being personal, wanting to strengthen a relationship, preferring to be right there rather than at a distance. Worship Jesus, yes, for who he is and what he has done, but also worship him for he calls us brothers and sisters. Never be afraid, for we belong together in God’s family. Praise God!
How amazing is this, Lord, to think about Jesus as our brother and our friend! Jesus can’t wait to see us, no different from that first Easter morning. He meets us where we are to reassure us as we go about our tasks. He is going to be with us – on the road, in the workplace, among other Christian friends, as we serve. Thank you, dear God, for the relationship Jesus wants to have with us! Amen.