Friday, November 14, 2008

Trembling and Astonishment

November 14: Matthew 28 & Mark 16

1 When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. 2 And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. 3 And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” 4 And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back—it was very large. 5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. 6 And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.” 8 And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.
Mark 16:1-8

Trembling and Astonishment

Try to put yourself in the place of Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Jesus. You are on the way to the tomb to put spices on the body of Jesus, and are wondering how you will get the huge stone rolled away from the opening of the cave. When you arrive, what do you find?

And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back—it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed.

It is certainly not a surprise that they were alarmed, but even more surprising were the words the young man (angel) spoke.

“Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.”

How did the two Marys respond?

And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

Though Jesus had foretold all of these things, including His resurrection, the Jewish Christians did not understand Him. It is only after all of these events had taken place that they realized what He had been trying to tell them.

Why do you think that Peter was singled out in the angel's words? Our God is a personal God, who has a personal relationship with each of His children. He is not somewhere out of reach. Peter had denied Christ three times, just as Christ said he would. The angel wanted Peter to know that Christ had truly forgiven Him and he was still part of the inner circle of disciples.

Oh that we would come to the Lord Jesus Christ in trembling and astonishment! These events have lost some of their effectiveness because we are so familiar with the story of Christ's crucifixion, death, and resurrection. It is good to put ourselves in the places of the two Marys and consider what our reaction would have been.

This same Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God, the Father, right now making intercession for us! Without Christ, we have no standing before God. When you come to God in prayer, I challenge you to come before Him in trembling and astonishment!

God Bless You,
Linda

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

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