The story comes to an end with Jesus’ resurrection. As I was reading it today, something hit me I hadn’t really focused on much before. Look at the beginning of Matthew 28. Mary Magdalene and another Mary (Jesus mom or someone else?) get up at dawn to go see the tomb of Jesus. Now, chapter 27 ended with them sitting at the tomb of Jesus, watching it get sealed up. Here, early the next day, they are up, together, and heading for the tomb again. Why this obsession with the tomb?
They took Jesus at His word. He had told them He would rise after three days. They have enough faith to go and watch. So, they are up early, walking to the graveyard. Who else is with them?
Not Peter, the Rock on which Jesus will build His church.
Not John, the one Jesus loved the most.
Not Thomas, who wanted physical proof to believe.
None of Jesus’ brothers or sisters.
They are the only ones who see the miracle. An angel comes with so much power that there is a violent earthquake, he is wearing lightning for clothing, and he is so powerful he terrifies the Roman guards to the point that they pass out. Mary and Mary are there to see it. No one else.
This angel of gigantic power and majesty looks them in the eye, and talks to them. He gives them a message, straight from God. They become the first people in history to know that Jesus is alive. No one else is with them. They are the only ones.
As you read it, it feels like the angel is waiting for them to come, before he starts the show. They are his audience, and he makes it well worth their time. They get this amazing front row pair of seats to history being split in two, all because they took some crazy statement of Jesus at face value, and didn’t want to risk missing out on it.
This is the type of faith you and I need. Jesus tells us that He wants to save everyone. We all have that person who we don’t believe is really on the list, the one too far gone. Jesus tells us He wants to resurrect their life, to give them a new start, to make them new. But we doubt it. Today, let’s be like Mary, not Peter. He was home asleep, she was at a graveyard, meeting with an angel. Yeah, we will be just like them, filled with joy and fear if we obey. But some one’s life is hanging in the balance.
Do you really believe in resurrection? Put feet to your faith, and go.