By Wesley Shriver
But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay (Matthew 28:5-6*).
Thank God for the empty tomb! We are so blessed to be the beneficiaries of an empty place. The angel told the women not to be afraid. Perhaps the women were afraid because of the angel (they wouldn’t be the first to experience that). Perhaps their fear resulted from the unknown of an open tomb with a missing guard. Wild ideas could have entered their minds about who might have stolen—or even desecrated—the Lord’s body! What might they have done to Jesus’ body and why?
Have worry and fear of the unknown ever welled up inside of you?
The angel invited the women to come and see . . . to learn the truth: “He has risen. Come, see the place where he lay” (v. 6). The women viewed the place where Jesus’ body had been. They saw the angel of the Lord before them. The truth became clear. God also invites us to see the truth—to celebrate the truth. We often feel anxious because we do not see or know the truth. Our minds imagine the worst. But Christ does not want us to live that way. The angel told the women not to be afraid, but to come and see truth, and Jesus has called on us to do the same.
Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Thank God that in a world of the unknown, we do not need to be afraid. We are invited to the truth in Jesus Christ and his Word.
Christ invited us to himself when he said, “Abide in me, and I in you” (John 15:4). Sharing in the Lord’s Supper together is an opportunity for us to abide, to commune, with Jesus. As we take the bread, we remember that he sacrificed his body for us on the cross. As we take the cup, we remember his blood that he shed for the forgiveness of our sins.
*All Scripture is from the English Standard Version.
Wesley Shriver serves as senior pastor at Milton (Illinois) Christian Church.