(Quoted Scripture is New International Version)
Something new was revealed the day of Jesus’ resurrection. Something difficult to understand with the human mind. This Rabbi Jesus, who had been brutally beaten, crucified and declared dead, wasn’t where he was supposed to be! His body was no longer in the tomb. Where could it be? It’s a mystery. It’s a puzzle.
Mary Magdalene and another Mary, who was a follower of Jesus, arrive at the tomb and find a large stone sealing the tomb. All of a sudden, a big, strong angel from the angel army of God appears. The ground begins to shake, the angel rolls away the stone and sits on it! As if to say, ‘My work is done now, I’ll sit for a while.’ The guards understandably are shaken to the core and faint dead away.
Then the women hear the angel speak. I wonder what an angel’s voice sounds like? “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. He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him. Now I have told you.” (Matthew 28:5-7)
The women begin to run back to where the rest of Jesus’ disciples are. They are afraid! This has never happened before, how could this be? Yet they are filled with joy to think their master, who called them friend, who taught them by example; to love, to forgive, to care for others sacrificially, Jesus is alive!
Then another shock! Jesus appears to the two women. Jesus tells them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” (v. 10)
Women were actually the first to know and to tell the good news of Jesus’ resurrection. Jesus gave women the right to preach over 2,000 years ago! Some men say women are not allowed to preach, read your Bible, guys!
Jesus’ birth, life, death, and glorious resurrection, is a mystery, a puzzle. What does this puzzle reveal about God?
God loves us so much that He came to us in a form we could relate to. A human Jesus, who was the fulfillment of prophecies from Old Testament times. A human Jesus, who reached out his hands to comfort, to heal. A human Jesus, who taught us with wisdom from His Father God, and showed us how to love and how to serve one another.
A human Jesus, who looked at us with eyes of love. A human Jesus, whose love for us held him on the cross.
When we believe that Jesus is the Son of God and God raised him from the dead; this human Jesus connects us to one another and to God.
When we confess that we cannot do this life alone, that we need a Savior, the Holy Spirit that Jesus said he’d send to us in His name, indwells us and enables us to love one another as God loves us: with grace and forgiveness.
Jesus loves you. Jesus loves me. Jesus is waiting for you to find him, to believe in him, so he can give you all of the love he’s been saving just for you!
Pastor Rosemary DeHut