Do Not Be Afraid

Jill Ver Steeg

READ : Matthew 28:1-10

Do not be afraid. . . . He is not here, for he has risen. (vv. 5-6)

On the first day of the week two women stumble through the darkness on their way to
Jesus’ tomb. Suddenly the earth shakes and an angel, like a lightning bolt dressed in neon
clothing, descends from the throne room of God. The angel unhinges the door to the tomb
and throws it aside. From his pulpit of stone the angel preaches, “Do not be afraid, for I
know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said.
Come, see the place where he lay” (vv. 5-6).

Do not be afraid! There is a double meaning in these words, for this is a prelude to
really good news. These women peer into the tomb and see an empty ledge. No need to look
for the living among the dead. But as we stand alongside the two Marys and look into the
tomb with them, we don’t just see the past, we see the future, our future. God gives a
sneak preview of what is to come for those who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
Peering in to the empty tomb we see our future and hear our resurrection summons: “Rise
up! You are dead but I, the risen One, will give you life.” Because Jesus has been raised
and lives, so too will we. Even though we die, yet will we live. It will not be in a
kingdom of this world, but in a renewed and eternal kingdom. Thanks be to God!

PRAYER

Jesus Christ, we praise you for your victory over the grave!