Jesus’ Resurrection Vs. the Report of the Guard

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Matthew 28:8-15

Wow, its Easter Monday, the Joy of the Resurrection of our Lord is still burning in our hearts, and after the 40 days of Lent we feel this happiness.

Just imagine what must have happened after Jesus’ passion and death, to all those who witnessed it. They must have been so fearful, not knowing what to do next, but for the love of Jesus some of these proceed to complete the funeral rituals.  As per Jewish customs the dead body required to be embalmed with spices, though Matthew does not mention this, and the ones who had gone to do this run back to inform the disciples what the angel told them – Jesus has Risen.

It must have been a moment of Fear and Great Joy.

Matthew mentions that the women witnessed an earthquake, an angel coming down from Heaven and the stone at the entrance of the tomb, being rolled back. Seeing and hearing the good news, was so unexpected for them, and the understanding of Resurrection something new, being unsure of what they heard, thinking of themselves in a dream, yet deep within there was a sense of ecstasy emerging. The glee and joy these women felt was like as if their bridegroom had just entered town, on his way to the marriage feast. And they wanted to share this great news with everyone. They wanted to yell and shout, the Master is not death, he has risen.

The rolling of the stone and the angel sitting on then becomes a sign of “victory over death”, pointing to the permanent Kingdom in Heaven.

And as they were trembling and running, the Lord himself appears to them, oh what joy, with tears they must have fallen at His feet and worshiped him.  Matthew speaks of two women, Mark three and John just Mary Magdalene, as the first to witness of the Risen Lord.  Jesus here acts according to God’s Truth, unworried about patriarchal customs, in exalting and favouring the women/Mary Magdalene as the First Witnesses to his Resurrection. These women become the apostle to the apostles and also the first disciples to meet Jesus in person, worship Him and also the first to announce HIS RESURRECTION.

We need to also remember the other story, the story that the Tomb Guards, spread with the help of the Jewish Authorities; that Jesus’ body was stolen by Jesus’ Disciples, in the middle of the night and does will sound real-like. But after this you meet Jesus alive in person, then that person can only fall of his high horse, as Saul-Paul will one day fall, on the road to Damascus.

In the end it is all about faith and how we belief. Jesus tells Thomas, ‘Happy are those who did not see and yet believe.’  Let us assess ourselves on how much faith we have.  Do we continue to trust God even when we face trials like, sickness, bereavement, loss of job, things not going our way, etc.  All of us must have had such setbacks during this last year of the pandemic and questioned God. Questioning is okay, but then also sit down and count also the many times, God has kept you safe and provided for you, and with Thomas say, ‘My Lord and My God’.

Let us for a moment remember these moments and ask Jesus our Christ to increase our faith and help us be the Good News to everyone around.