HE IS NOT HERE - Matt 28:1-10
Here is, roughly, what I'm sharing tomorrow morning @ 7am... (
I wonder what it would have been like for these women, traveling to Jesus’ tomb 2000 years ago… They had witnessed his teaching, his healings and his miracles – and they had now witnessed his arrest, his torture and his death. The best they had to give at this time was some perfume, a few tears – a mourning ritual outside of the tomb where Jesus was laid. I can only imagine that they were somber – maybe even silent as they walked. After all, the man who had lit a fire in their hearts, the man who had healed them and offered them a new way of living, was now nothing more than a memory…
But in the midst of this, something happens – Matthew records it this way – Matt 28:2-6a
“He is not here…” That was surely unexpected. I have a feeling however, that it is a little lost on us. So, let me throw you a curveball for a second and ask you something – what were you expecting when you came here this morning? The Second Stringers, Larry on the trumpet – to worship Jesus in a very special place… What if an angel appeared right now and explained that Jesus was not here… ?
I don’t want to suggest that we are here in vain, that Christ is not present with us here in this place – but I think that there is an important message here that is as important if not more so for us today than it was for the women who first heard it – Matt 28:6b-7
“…going ahead of you into Galilee.” First, it’s important to note that Jesus has gone ahead – he has prepared to meet them – he has prepared to meet us as well. Not necessarily huddled up in some hide-away somewhere where no one will know – but out there. Jesus calls us to meet him out there and he has already prepared a place for us – Matt 28:8-9a
“Suddenly Jesus met them…” Second, Jesus doesn’t meet these women until they leave, until they begin to be about the mission that Christ has called them to – until they go out on there way. But even then, he doesn’t meet them where he said – but surprises them on the way. He shows up unexpectedly, ahead of time – Matt 28:9b-10
“Go and tell my brothers…” Finally – meeting Jesus doesn’t end the mission of these women – they are still encouraged on their way. They have a mission to fulfill and it continues beyond their meeting Jesus.
Friends, I know that Jesus is here in this place this morning. But he is not just here. No, he is also out in the world, calling us to go out and meet him there – because he has already prepared a place for us to serve him – in the world, to be his witnesses, to share his love and grace – and it is while we are doing this, while we are taking part in Jesus mission that we will truly find and experience the joy of Jesus resurrection!