“Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb. Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it. His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint. Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. And now, go quickly and tell the disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you.” The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to give the disciples the angel’s message. And as they went, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they ran to him, grasped his feet, and worshipped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t be afraid! Go tell my brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see me there. Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him-but some of them doubted! Matthew 28 1-10, 16 NLT
My word for the year is Presence…intentionally seeking God’s presence, so that it overflows into the rest of my life. The presence of the Angel at the tomb was enough for the women to believe. But, some of the disciples doubted, even after seeing Jesus. I’m reading a book with my bible study called Twelve Ordinary Men, by John McArthur. He writes about how human the disciples were. He says, “That’s because they were perfectly ordinary men in every way. Not one of them was renowned for scholarship or great erudtion. They had no track record of as orators or theologians. In fact, they were outsiders as far as the religious establishment of Jesus’ day was concerned. They were not outstanding because of any natural talents or intellectual abilities. On the contrary, they were all prone to mistakes, misstatements, wrong attitudes, lapses of faith, and bitter failure.” They were just like me. How often have I worshipped and had God reveal something to me and than doubt enters my mind?
“They left with this final word from Paul: “The Holy Spirit was right when he said to your ancestors through Isaish the prophet, ‘Go and say to this people: When you hear what I say, you will not understand. When you see what I do, you will not comprehend. For the hearts of these people are hardened, and their ears cannoth hear, and their hearts cannoth understand, and they cannot turn to me and let me heal them.” Acts 28:25-27 NLT
Am I listening to the Holy Spirit? Or is my heart hardened?
Dear Father, I want to be like both Marys and run to you, lay at your feet, and worship you. Forgive me when I run to lesser things. I want to be filled with renewed joy of your resurrection power. Thank you that you are always with me. Amen.
“I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20 NLT