The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here, he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.” (Matthew 28:5-6)
Where is Jesus? That seems like a silly question. But this passage tells us that there is one place where Jesus is not. The women expect him to be in the tomb, but he is not there.
How many times have you or I been just like the women who came to that tomb on the first Easter Sunday morning? They must have been filled with fear, grief, sorrow and despair. Like them, we think that we know where Jesus is (in heaven, but not with us) and what he can do top help us (nothing).
The message of Easter to those of us who are crushed by life’s circumstances is that Jesus is somewhere different than where we think he is and he is able to do much more than what we think he can do. Do not be afraid! Jesus is not dead in a tomb. He is alive and he is with you.
Jesus’ victory over death means that there is always hope, always life, and goodness and faithfulness will be vindicated in the end.
Loss, sorrow and sadness are not fun and we try to avoid them as much as we can. But it is there that the resurrected Jesus meets us and assures us, “Do not be afraid. I have risen from the dead. Surely, I am with you always to the very end of the age.”
Have courage, dear friends, for the Lord our God is with you! He will never leave you nor forsake you!
Prayer: Dear Jesus, please help me to see that you really are with me in my times of weakness, sorrow and suffering. Please drive away my fear with your perfect love. Amen.