Pastor Jonathan Falwell
Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
Distraction, Division, Disillusionment…these are all things that each of us deal with on a daily basis. The world consistently robs us of what God wants to give because we focus on the things now, rather than Him. Our circumstances dictate our joy…or lack thereof. When we focus on the negative, we are robbed of the positive moments in life. When our hearts are distracted by the negative, division and disillusionment are guaranteed.
And many women who followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to Him, were there looking on from afar, 56 among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons. 57 Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. 58 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given to him. 59 When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed. 61 And Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting opposite the tomb.
– The women were watching from a distance, both at the crucifixion and at His burial.
Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.
Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him.
– The women came to anoint the body of Jesus. Why? Because they believed He was still dead, despite what He had told them.
– They were distracted by their current circumstances, they couldn’t see.
And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. 3 His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. 4 And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men. 5 But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. 7 And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.” 8 So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.
As they arrived, the Angel appeared and reminded them of what they already should have known.
She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned and wept. 11 And when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe. 12 After that, He appeared in another form to two of them as they walked and went into the country. 13 And they went and told it to the rest, but they did not believe them either.
The women who had been radically changed by the presence of Christ told those who walked with Him what they had seen, but they did not believe. Why?
1. Distracted by circumstances
2. Divided by conflict
3. Disillusioned by life
A picture of our world. They did not remember.
Later He appeared…and everything changed.
Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
After that, He appeared in another form to two of them as they walked and went into the country. 13 And they went and told it to the rest, but they did not believe them either. 14 Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. 15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.”
They had an encounter with the risen Lord…and believed. With belief, everything is different. Life is different, focus is different…there is hope! Through faith, we can overcome distraction, division and disillusionment. We are a new creation!
And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs.
They went, they told, God was with them…and the world changed. All through belief.
What do you believe?