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.
~ Matthew 28:1-4
The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid… ~ Matthew 28:5a
The command “Do not be afraid” AKA “Fear not”
occurs 70 times in the New Testament.
7 (Godly Completeness) X 10 (Human Completeness)
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time; BUT if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us His Spirit. We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. GOD IS LOVE , and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us. If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also. ~ 1 John 4:7-21
Someone listening today needs to go apologize to someone and ask for their forgiveness and make things right again. I can’t think of a better day to reach out and say I’m sorry and I forgive you than Easter Sunday. Can you?
Also, someone is out there today listening who is afraid to come to God. You are afraid to ask Jesus to forgive you because you feel like you have done too much wrong, made too many mistakes, blown too many second and third chances? You are living in fear of God, sure that God is angry at you, sure that God hates you? Nothing could be further from the truth! You need to let all of that go right now because John makes it clear to us that GOD IS LOVE not HATE and that while He may dislike your actions at times He always LOVES YOU! If you come to Him, unafraid, you will experience His perfect Love and His perfect love always casts out fear.
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.” ~ Matthew 28:5-7
So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell His disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” He said. They came to Him, clasped His feet and worshiped Him.
~ Matthew 28:8-9
Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brothers to go to Galilee;
there they will see Me.” ~ Matthew 28:1-10
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres…… Love never fails….. For now we see only a reflection of Him, as in a mirror; then we shall see Him face to face. Now I know Him in part; then I shall know Him fully, even as I am fully known by Him. And now these three will always survive: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, 12-13
The Apostle John told us “God is love.”
The Aposlte Paul Paul said “Love never fails.”
So the transitive property of math and logic drives the point home. If love never fails, and if God IS love then you can take this truth to the bank – GOD, like love, never fails/GOD always wins. And that’s the big idea of Easter isn’t it?
Maybe you are facing a great difficulty, an enormous, painful trial in your life right now. Whatever pain, whatever darkness, whatever defeat you are facing right now, don’t forget! This is just a “Friday night” moment for you! It will pass because Sunday’s On The Way! Whatever tragedy, whatever struggle, whatever loss or difficulty you are facing right now that’s not the end of your story! This is just your Friday night moment but your Sunday’s still a coming!