Jump Start # 3305
Matthew 28:5 “And the angel answered and said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified.’”
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Sunday is resurrection day. Every Sunday is resurrection day for the disciple. But the world takes note of this one day in Spring to give thought to the empty tomb. Those early disciples kept that empty tomb near and dear to their hearts. This was something that was meaningful and life changing for them.
On that early Sunday morning, a few women gathered to the tomb of Jesus. They expected His body to be there. They even wondered how they would roll the stone back. They likely did not know that the tomb had been sealed and Roman guards were standing nearby. But by the time they reached the tomb, the seal had been broken. The guards were gone. The stone had been moved. And, our Lord had been resurrected.
The next verse states four powerful statements about the Lord’s resurrection. These are the words of an angel who was there:
· He is not here
· He has risen
· Just as He said
· Come and see
Within our verse today, are several interesting thoughts:
First, the angels knew what the women were doing. They knew that they were looking for Jesus. The angel was sent to assure the women. We remember that the angels know when a sinner repents, according to the Lord’s parables in Luke 15. If angels know, you can be certain that God knows.
Second, these heavenly messengers extended comfort to the women. Do not be afraid, they told the women. There are plenty of reasons why they may be afraid. Were Romans still around? How often does one talk to an angel? Fear and sorrow and confusion filled the hearts of all the disciples. The Lord was dead. What would happen now? What would happen to them?
Don’t be afraid. And, for us, the words of Scripture comfort us. Do not be afraid. Don’t be afraid of death. Don’t be afraid of Satan. Don’t be afraid of trouble. Fear not, I am with you, is what the Lord assured the disciples.
Third, looking for Jesus is a profound value in our lives. We need to find Jesus. Some are looking, but they are looking in the wrong places. They want to find Jesus in their own ways. They want to find Jesus in unique places. Some want to find Jesus in sin, but He won’t be there. Some are wanting to find a Jesus that fits in with their thinking and that will approve of anything they do. They won’t find Him there.
Where we find Jesus is in the Scriptures. This is where His life story is told. A Jesus that is not like the Jesus of the Bible is artificial, a fake. Some want a Mr. Roger’s type of Jesus. Some want a Jesus of happiness. Some do not want a Jesus that has doctrine attached to Him. Some want to be able to worship Jesus in whatever way they feel like. Some want a Jesus that never mentions wrath, judgment or Hell. Some want a Jesus who is into having a good time. Some are looking for a buddy.
And, like these women in our passage, one is not going to find that type of Jesus. He’s not there. That Jesus has been made up in their minds. That Jesus won’t save them. That Jesus won’t change them. That Jesus won’t be of any help because that Jesus doesn’t exist.
It would shock some to know that Jesus said more about Hell than He did Heaven. It would shock some to know that Jesus isn’t so desperate for followers that He’ll bend the rules or give you a pass on some things.
The Jesus of the N.T. was demanding. He was the Lord. The Jesus of the N.T. had specific expectations. The Jesus of the N.T. offended some and He never came back and apologized or tried to smooth things over with them. The Jesus of the N.T. had people who walked away from Him because He would not cater to their whims. Jesus didn’t change for the people. He expected the people to change for Him.
The women came looking for Jesus. Many today are looking for Jesus. But many wouldn’t recognize Jesus if they saw Him because in their minds they have turned Jesus into someone who spends His time pleasing the crowds. That Jesus doesn’t exist.
May we come to know the Jesus of the Bible. May we see Him as the Lord. May we know Him as our Savior.
Looking for Jesus…that’s a great thought.