By Doug Bell
1¶ In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
2And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
3His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:
4And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
5¶ And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
6He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
7And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.
8¶ And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.
9¶ And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail.And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.
10Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.
Yesterday was Easter Sunday, “The” Resurrection Day! In Sunday School we studied this passage (actually the parallel passage in John).
We discussed Mary Magdalene and the grief she felt as she came to the tomb to finish the final preparation to the dead body of Jesus.
Yet, to her surprise as she approached the tomb, the great boulder that had blocked the entrance had been rolled back leaving the entrance open (Here in vs. 2 we are told how that had happened! “And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it”).
Peering in Mary looked to see the body of Jesus. Rather than seeing the Christ she saw instead two angels. One at the head and one at the feet of where Jesus’ body would have been (John 20:12).
John’s Gospel gives us a clearer picture of Mary’s condition at this time. She was in shock, confused by the situation she now found herself. Jesus body was gone and she waned it returned, so she could give it a proper burial.
Speaking to the Angels had not made things any clearer for her; turning around she saw Jesus but didn’t recognize Him. (Was this like with the two Jesus met on the road to Emmaus, He hid His identity until He wanted to reveal to them who He was? Luke 24:16). Thinking He was the gardener, she ask Him to tell her where He had placed Jesus’ body.
Jesus simply spoke her name, “Mary.” Her eyes were open, she knew it was Jesus and grabbed and hugged his legs and feet. So much so, Jesus had to tell her to release Him because His time was short (40 days) and He would ascend back to His Father.
Mary was’t just to sit and Worship at Jesus’ feet (though there is a time for this, see: Luke 10:35-42). Jesus had given her a commission! Vs. 10 “go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.”
Just as with Mary, there is a proper time for us to Worship the Risen Lord. But we too, have a commission to “Go & Tell”. And it’s the last words of Jesus in Matthew’s Gospel:
18And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Worship The Lord Jesus Christ, Yes! But, never forget the Commission. It too, is another way to properly Worship Our Risen Christ! Maranatha!