Summary: A short talk given at a midweek communion service 3 days after resurrection Sunday. What God-inspired task have you been given. Like the women, as you go, Jesus will meet you and minister to you in the task.
They were ‘afraid yet filled with joy’ (28:8).
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary - Mary the mother of James and Joses (27:56&61) – arrive at the tomb (28:1). They witness the stone rolled away from the mouth of the tomb (28:2). They see the guards posted by Pilate (27:65) so overcome by fear that they look as if they’re dead (28:4). An angel – a heavenly messenger – whose appearance is like lightning speaks to them and whereas the guards fainted with fear the women, who are believers, hear the message that Jesus has risen, just as he said he would (26:32). The angel tells them to tell this to the disciples and to head off for Galilee where they will see Jesus (28:7).
Afraid yet filled with joy, the two women obediently set off on their God-inspired task (28:8); but was that task only for the two Marys, or is it also for us?
The angel didn’t speak to the guards at the tomb, even though they had witnessed the power of God and passed out as a result. The angel spoke only to the women - because they were believers.
In the three days that have passed since we just celebrated resurrection Sunday I wonder what God has been saying to us. What has God been saying to you? Have you sensed the joy of knowing that Jesus is alive – perhaps even for the first time? Do you know the joy that comes from experiencing that Jesus is alive? Who does God want you to tell?
The prospect of telling others about the resurrected Jesus, not dead but alive for ever, may also leave us ‘afraid yet filled with joy’ (28:8). The women had seen, heard and experienced the power of God at work in ways they had not imagined and now they set off on their God-inspired task. Do you know what your God-inspired task is, because He’s got one for you!
When we set out on the task God gives us he doesn’t send us off alone. He goes with us, and the women themselves experienced this, for it was whilst they were on their way to tell the disciples that Jesus met them suddenly (28:9) and they worshipped him.
Worshipping Jesus, meeting with Jesus is inseparable from the task that God gives to us. As they worship him Jesus repeats the commissioning to go and tell the brothers, his disciples, to meet him in Galilee, and he reminds them also of this: “Do not be afraid” (28:10). Jesus meets the women whilst they are obediently on their way and as they worship him he ministers to them. On one occasion Jesus said to his disciples, “Where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them” (18:20) – and Jesus still does that today. He is here as we gather.
To whom is Jesus sending you? Can you tell me a name or two? As you go, you might be afraid.
But as you go he will meet with you; and as you worship him on the journey he will minister to you.
The women were ‘afraid yet filled with joy’.
I pray that you may be filled with the joy of knowing that Jesus is alive. I pray that you may know the God-inspired task that he has for you; and I pray that as you go you will know that He’s with you, ministering to you, and saying “do not be afraid”.