When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.” So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.
This passage of scripture shares the overwhelming discovery that the tomb of a dead Jesus is now empty. The three women arrive at the tomb not only to find that the large stone sealing the tomb is “rolled away,” but, also to find an “amazing” presence of a white-robed young man sitting at the right of the tomb (possibly in the place they expected to anoint the body of Jesus). Most amazing, however, is the pronouncement by the man (an angel?) that, “Jesus has risen from the dead.” This Good News has universally resonated for over 2,000 years! The women are told to go and tell Jesus’ disciples that Jesus, himself, will meet them in Galilee as he earlier promised. However, the women do not celebrate this Good News with joy. Instead, they are gripped with fear and astonishment. They are so overwhelmed with fear from this experience that they are unable to put into words, nor share this Good News with anyone.
Fear is a very deep and disabling emotion. Over the past year our world has been in the grip of fear due to a deadly pandemic. Many have been “disabled” by this fear. Our fear can only be overcome by replacing its negative presence with something positive. Nothing could be more positive than embracing the Good News and doing that which the women were unable to do… share the message of Jesus’ victory over death.
Lewinsville Presbyterian Church provides the support and encouragement of a loving family of believers with whom to share the Good News. Let’s do it!
Heavenly Father, your perfect love casts out fear. Help us to know your love in very real ways, in hope of overcoming our fear to remain silent. Surround us with others who know your love, and enable us to share our love with a world that needs to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Rev. Dr. Allen R. Wilson