By Karen Polich
Shock rippled through many groups when Jesus’ tomb was found empty. Pastor Michael M. Cook shared an Easter message related to the shock of the resurrection. (Listen to the podcast here.) We can learn much from what happened when the tomb was empty.
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. 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. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Matthew 28:1-8
What do you do when nothing will ever be the same? How do you explain the unexplainable?
The lesson is in the responses. Each group handled the situation differently. Beyond fear, the women remembered the words of Jesus. This remembrance brought them to joy. The guards fled, shared their story with the priests, then caved-in to the pressure, choosing dishonesty. The disciples were in a state of unbelief which led to examination before they moved to worship. When things don’t go according to our plans, we can find ourselves gripped by fear.
Our God has given us promises! Circumstances will not go away, but the joy of remembering brings us to a place of peace. This leads us to worship. – Michael M. Cook
Where do you find yourself today when it comes to the shock of the resurrection? Most of us would probably line up with the disciples. We may need to examine the truth again and again to erase our unbelief. Ultimately, we will worship what is most important to us. If it isn’t Jesus, we’ve got work to do.