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Do not be afraid

170416After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.” So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. 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, NRSV)

Jesus was laid in the tomb Friday evening…

He was dead. When they pierced His side, blood and water flowed, a sure sign of death.

So it was a bit surprising when the Marys head to the tomb to wrap His body and put spices on it that the stone is rolled away and an angel is waiting for them.

And they hear for the first time, “Do not be afraid.” Jesus is not here.

And they believe and run to tell the disciples when they run into Jesus, who also says to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” We have reason to fear when He was dead, but here He is walking with us, but isn’t that what He told us would happen?

Do we not believe He will keep His promises. He said 3 days and I will rise!

So do not be afraid, for He is alive! And He is going to keep all of His promises!

Do not be afraid!

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guarded

170415When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb. The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, “Sir, we remember what that impostor said while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ Therefore command the tomb to be made secure until the third day; otherwise his disciples may go and steal him away, and tell the people, ‘He has been raised from the dead,’ and the last deception would be worse than the first.” Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers; go, make it as secure as you can.” So they went with the guard and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone. (Matthew 27:57-66, NRSV)

The Priests went to Pilate and asked him to guard the tomb of Jesus because He had said when He was alive He would rise after three days. But Pilate would not, he told them they have their own guards, they can go and seal it and protect it.

They were worried He would actually rise, or that it was all a rouse and the disciples would steal His body…

Guards or no guards, God’s plan will not fail.

 

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Rise ~ Peder Eide

 

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Are we like Martha?

When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.” (John 11:17-27, NRSV)

Jesus asked Martha, “Do you believe this?”

What would you say to Jesus if he asked you if you believe in Him????

Jesus told Martha, “whoever believes in me will never die!” But she just saw her brother die, and she believed that he believed in Jesus, so when she says she believes it, does she?

Do we believe what we want to about God, and just push the hard things aside?

Or do we really believe?

 

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servant of all

They went on from there and passed through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know it; for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.” But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him. Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” (Mark 9:30-35, NRSV)

Is there someone in your world that you just can not image serving?

That one person if Jesus said to wash their feet, you might just walk away?

Now be honest, because if we are honest, we all have at least one person that we do not really want to serve in our lives.

Now do you have a good mental image of them?

And now picture yourself with them and Jesus, and Jesus asks you to wash their feet, and you do it.

That is what this verse says to do. To serve as Jesus served, remember that Judas was there when Jesus washed the disciples feet.

We must be a servant to all, because that is what He told us to do!

 

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if

When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”  (John 11:17-26, NRSV)

What is the difference really? I mean if Martha believes that Lazarus will rise again, then why does it matter if Jesus was there before he died?

If you had been here Jesus, none of this would have happened… But I know God will give you whatever you ask…

If this is true, then why does it matter if Jesus was there before he died?

You see, we say things, but do we believe them?

Do you believe what Jesus said?

“I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.”

Death is something we all fear. It is an unknown, but it is not the end. Death is mearly a step in our lives with God. Death in a human sense is a step, and it is not the end. Do you believe the promise that Jesus gave to Martha, and to you?

If you do, then He is always here, and always present, and there is no if you would have been here…

So believe in the promise, and know He is with you.

 

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Image

Rise ~ Day 35 ~ Photo a Day Challenge Lent 2014

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