After the Sabbath, as Sunday morning was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. Suddenly there was a violent earthquake; an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled the stone away, and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid that they trembled and became like dead men. The angel spoke to the women. “You must not be afraid,” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. (Mat 28:1-5)
The women at the tomb were quite rightly fearful over everything that had happened. Their Lord and Saviour had been killed whilst their leaders (the disciples) were running scared and hiding out. Meanwhile the local authorities were joyous at their victory over the upstart Jesus. What could go wrong had gone wrong up to this point! No one can doubt the women’s courage in going to the tomb in these circumstances.
When the angel appears the first thing he tells them is not to be afraid which is in contrast to the guards who became ‘like dead men.’ What made the difference? Why should the women not be afraid when the guards were?
The guards knew Jesus as an insurrectionist and criminal whereas the women knew him as their Lord and the promised Messiah. It was that personal relationship that made all the difference.
2000+ years later it is our personal relationship with Jesus that makes all the difference and is also the reason we do not need to be afraid.
- Remind yourself that Jesus is greater than anything and we do not need to fear