A Montrose Church Lent Devotional by Pastor Rick
Today's reading: Matthew 28:1-10
I grew up singing a song every Easter morning in the little church where Jesus changed my life forever. The words were so simple and to the point. I wish you could hear the music as you read the words,
Low in the grave he lay,
Jesus my Savior,
Waiting the coming day,
Jesus my Lord!
Up from the grave he arose;
With a mighty triumph o'er his foes;
He arose a victor from the dark domain,
And he lives forever, with his saints to reign.
He arose! He arose!
Hallelujah! Christ arose
- Robert Lowry, 1874)
After the excruciating pain of Friday and Saturday, can you image meeting up with an angel outside the tomb where Jesus had been buried and hearing that angel say, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples…" (v. 5-7).
"He is not here; he has risen." This is the greatest announcement the world has ever heard. N.T. Wright says, "The resurrection completes the inauguration of God's kingdom… It is the decisive event demonstrating that God's kingdom really has been launched on earth as it is in heaven. The message of Easter is that God's new world has been unveiled in Jesus Christ and that you're now invited to belong to it.” ( )
"Do not be afraid." This invitation might be the most powerful call in all the world. Fear grips our world. Fear imprisons people. Fear gnaws away at any chance of true community in the world. Isn’t it remarkable that the first thing we hear from heaven on the morning of the resurrection is, "Do not be afraid." A little while later Jesus would add His voice to the conversation, and His first words are "Do not be afraid" (v. 10).
Hear these words again from N.T. Wright, "The message of Easter is that God's new world has been unveiled in Jesus Christ and that you're now invited to belong to it." We are invited into a kingdom where a fundamental message to everyone is, "Do not be afraid." God invites us to Himself and through the power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead we are enabled to live for the One who can do "immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us" (Ephesians 3:20).
Take a deep breath today and breathe into your soul,
"He has risen.”
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