Can You Say He Is Risen

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Standard; Mt 28:1 Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.
 2 And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it.
 3 His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow.
 4 And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.
 5 But the angel answered and said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.
 6 "He is not here; for He is risen, …............as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
 7 "And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you."
 8 So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.
 (NKJV)

 Mt 28:1 Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.

First of all note that these women wait until after the Sabbath Day to come to the tomb. They had work to do on the body of Jesus. Work that couldn't be done on the Sabbath, but needed to be done soon. Jesus had died just before the start of the Sabbath (sunset on Friday) on what is called the day of preparation.

It was on this day that you did all the work to prepare for the work you couldn't do on the Sabbath Day. Sometimes I think that wouldn't be a bad idea in our hectic world today. Since Jesus died late on Friday, there was not enough time to properly prepare the body for burial because the Sabbath began at sunset.

 The sabbath ended at sunset Saturday and for whatever reason, the women decided to wait untiil Sunday morning to properly anoint the Body of Jesus.

Sometimes people are puzzled when we say that Jesus was in the tomb three days. Let's say that the sunset at 6 p.m on Friday and rose at 6 a.m. On Sunday. How many hours would've He been in the tomb? 36. Sounds more like a day and half doesn't it?
But the dilemma is solved when you realize that He was put in the tomb on Friday, remained there on Saturday, and rose from the dead just after sunrise on Sunday. Though only 36 hours had passed, three days had been touched.

Now there were more than these two women who came to the tomb, but for some reason Matthew only mentions the two. Mary Magdalene who had been delivered from severe demonic oppression, and the other Mary, who was the virgin Mary's sister.  (Kind of had a George Foreman thing going on there, (he's the boxer who named all his sons George.)

So the women are on their way to the tomb. Did you ever wonder what the men were doing at this time? Probably sawing logs! Can you picture the women trying to get the men to go with them to the tomb?

“Peter, wake up! We're going to the tomb.”

“What” Are you nuts! There are soldiers there! They will probably arrrest us and we'll end up just as dead!”

“Thomas, wake up! We're going to the tomb!” “Give it up girls, He's dead!”

And as the girls head out the door, the men are heard saying, “Good luck rolling away the stone!”

Well, we aren't privy to the actual conversation, but we do need to commend the faith of these women. Who, because they loved Jesus, were determined to do what was right and fitting. Never mind the stone and the guards, we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.  Can we learn from that today? I think so! Love Jesus and then do what is right and fitting in all circumstances. Let the risen Lord take care of the circumstances.

 2 And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it.



While on their way, all heaven breaks loose. And just after sunrise on Sunday,  (6:05 Central saving time) Jesus rises from the dead. A small portion of Friday, all of Saturday, and a small portion of Sunday spent in the tomb...three days.

 The Lutheran commentator Lenski says that the angel merely rolled the stone away to show the world that Jesus was no longer in the tomb. At the moment of bodily revival, shortly after sunrise on Sunday, He received that glorified body that allows Him to pass through material objects such as closed doors in the upper room, and yes even bread and wine. He is risen!

Matthew now describes the angel.

3 His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow.
 4 And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.

This is a top shelf angel!  No human disguise here. All the brilliance and holiness of heaven on display at the tomb! Bad news for unbelievers! The soldiers now lay on the ground, passed out from sheer fright. They look like bowling pins after a pocket hit from Jack Taschner at Sabre Lanes.

 Good news for the believers!  The enemy immobilized on the ground, and the reassuring words of the angel......fear not.”

5 But the angel answered and said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.

Don't miss this. You need not be afraid when you seek Jesus.

Though it may seem fearful to turn your life over to Jesus, all sorts of thoughts will enter your mind about what will need to change in your life, and indeed things will change, but believe me, that which you give up will be like dung to the peace and joy that He will bring.

Sometimes we fear that He will not accept us, that we have crossed some sort of unforgivable line, but listen to what He says in His Word:

“for whoever would draw near to God, must believe that He exists and that HE rewards those who seek Him..” ( Heb 11:6)

“whoever comes to Me I will never cast out.”  (Jn 6:37)
No, there is no reason to fear. Why not? Because

 6 "He is not here; for He is risen, …..........as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
He is risen! Let that sink in. These are the facts: First of all Jesus was dead when they took Him down from the cross.
 Joh 19:33 But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs:
 34 But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.
 35 And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.

In addition to John's account, the Roman historian Tacitus writing early in the 2nd century provide us with a single reference to Jesus of considerable value. Writing about the burning of Rome and the persecution of Christians by Nero he wrote: “ he falsely charged with the guilt, and punished Christians, who were hated for their enormities. Christus, the founder of the name, was put to death by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea in the reign of Tiberius:

That's a secular historian. Jesus was indeed dead, but He didn't stay that way. He  rose again on the third day. He is risen! …...The good Dr Luke, who was a great historian in his own right recorded this fact in Acts 13:30,31

Ac 13:30 But God raised him from the dead:
 31 And he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses unto the people.
 (KJV)

The Apostle Paul also bears witness to the resurrection in 1 Cor 15:4-6

 1Co 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
 5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
 6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
Imagine that kind of a trail of witnesses to a singular historical event in a courtroom. What kind of verdict would the jury hand down? He is risen!

Seek the crucified Jesus, who rose from the dead and fear not! If He can overcome the grave, there is no fear in your life that He cannot overcome.  I read the other day that some people have a bigger fear of spiders than they do of death! Well, He can even overcome your fear of spiders.

Will fear go away easily? Of course not! We will battle it all the days of our lives. But we must learn to cope with it, and the best way to cope with it, is to look to the empty tomb. He is risen!.......... He is powerful and more mighty than that which brings fear to you. Trust Him.

Do you think those women went to the tomb without fear? Of course not! Their desire to do what was right and fitting and more importantly there love of Jesus trumped their fear. May the Holy Spirit give us such love and power in our lives today.

7 "And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you."
Don't you like the angels last words? “Behold I have told you. It's like he's saying, OK, I've done my job. God sent me to open up the tomb and tell you.....now go and do yours!

8 So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.
 (NKJV)

You gotta love these women. They didn't drag their feet did they? God's messenger tells them to do something and they do it!   Where do we find God's messages to us today? In the Bible! We need to be like these women and stop dragging our feet. Take those messages and out of a love for Christ and a desire to do what is fitting and right.......and run with them! Do it!

Yeah, there will be some fear, but there also will be great joy. These women had fear because they were dealing with the unknown. What will this risen Jesus look like? What does it all mean? What will others think about our message?

They had great joy because they knew that there Redeemer lives! And I suspect some of that joy was connected with the fact that God had chosen them for this task!

I don't know what you have planned today, but let's see if we can bring a little fear and joy into your life. Just try this. As you interact with other people, in the store, at a restaurant, gas station or wherever. Bring the simple message that was entrusted to these women to the people you run into today. Look em right in the eye and say,  “He is risen!”       And see what happens.

Yes some fear may well up in you before you get the courage to say the words, but think of the joy in your heart as you publicly state what you believe about Jesus. Think of the reminder to your own soul, that because He is risen, death, your greatest enemy has been overcome, and that one day you will be with the thief and with Jesus in Paradise!

Because you have been baptized and have faith. He is risen!