'We live and die;
Christ died
and lived!'
~John Stott


Monday Reflection


5th April 2021

...they would see him...

8  So the women hurried away from the tomb,
   afraid yet filled with joy,
   and ran to tell his disciples.
9  Suddenly Jesus met them.
  "Greetings," he said. They came to him,
   clasped his feet and worshiped him.
10  Then Jesus said to them,
  "Do not be afraid.
   Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee;
   there they will see me."

.... Matthew 28:8-10

Here we have the second
of the resurrection sightings,
the first being Mary Magdalene's
encounter with Jesus.

There are various, and to some extent,
mutually conflicting versions of the
resurrection story and of how and where
the Risen Jesus was seen and by whom.
There are basically two types of experiences.
Appearances to individuals
(Mary Magdalene, Emmaus disciples,
Peter and Thomas)
help prove the fact of the resurrection;
appearances to several disciples together
are accompanied by the command
to continue the work of Jesus.

In today's reading,
the women were to instruct the disciples
that they would see him in Galilee,
their own place
and that is where we will
expect to see him, too.

Galilee was their home ground,
the place where they were born,
grew up and work.
That was where the
Risen Jesus was to be found.

He is saying the same thing to us too.
We do not have to go to Jerusalem or Rome
or Lourdes to find him.
If we cannot find him in the place
where we live and work,
we won't find him in those
other places either.

Meanwhile the leaders of the Jews
put another twist on what was happening.
They also were reporting that the tomb was empty.
All sides agree that the tomb was empty;
the disagreement was over the why.
Obviously, they were wondering what
could have happened but could not accept
the possibility of resurrection.

The guards were bribed and told to say that
the disciples had stolen the body while
they were asleep.
Guards who sleep on the job should
have been punished not bribed.
And, if they were asleep,
how did they know what happened?

But when people do not want to believe something,
reason and logic can often go out the window.
We see such rationalisations frequently
in those who reject the existence
of Jesus or who find it inconvenient
to live a Christian life.

Those who take the Gospel seriously
and try to live according to its vision
have all the confirmation they need that
it is the recipe for a happy and fulfilled life.

Jesus was crucified, died and was buried -
but he also defeated death by rising again.
The empty tomb bore witness to that.
Whilst hanging on the cross,
he didn't say
"I am finished." He said,
"It is finished."
He was just getting started!

May we, who have experienced
the joy of Easter day,
go forward in love and live
the resurrection life in Jesus.

It may be interesting to watch,
or just listen to a song
'Because he lives
I can face tomorrow'
Worship song with lyrics
via the link shown below.