Holy Week Devotionals | April 11
This Holy Week, we want you to be encouraged daily remembering this most special week. Each day we will have online readings and devotionals on our YouTube channel.
Saturday, April 11 – Matthew 28.1-10
It is Saturday, both of Mary and Mary Magdalene, were there the evening before that Jesus died and was laid in the tomb. No doubt uncertainty filled their hearts of what was going to happen now that Jesus is dead. They come to His tomb that morning with spices, so that they might anoint Him (Mark 16.1). The Jews didn’t practice embalming and so these ladies go to anoint Jesus’ body, so it would not smell – this was a way to honor Him. As they come, as simple, loving disciples to Jesus’ tomb, their world and the course of history is about to change. An angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. Oh, and this was accompanied with a great earthquake. Could you imagine the scene? You are simply going to pay your respects and to care for the body, yet God had something else in store for these two unlikely witnesses of the resurrection and the empty tomb. Matthew’s gospel says, "the angel rolled away the stone away and sat on upon it."
The stone is rolled away not for Jesus’ sake, but for the women’s sake. The women are afraid, as Jesus’ body is no longer there. So the angel clarifies what has happen – that Jesus has risen. What Jesus had shared with His disciples had happened. He has risen from the dead. The women filled with the mingling of fear and joy go to tell the other disciples and before they can get word to them Jesus meets them and greets them on the road. I can’t imagine all these two felt, the range of emotions as they woke up that morning filled uncertainty and now here standing before them is Jesus. Their first response was worship. Then Jesus tells them, “Do not be afraid; go and take word to My brethren, the other disciples.”
I love what Jesus says here because this is truly what the resurrection of Jesus calls us to: To first, not be afraid. We do not have to be afraid because Jesus is alive. We are living in uncertain days, but we must remember that Jesus has overcome the grave – death cannot stop Him and as the church we must say to this virus that the gates of hell cannot stop the church and there is no way you will either. Lastly, the resurrection calls us to go and tell others Jesus is alive! Go spread the news, tell others about the great hope of the resurrection and Jesus can change their life just as He has changed yours.