Pastor Wegner | Do Not Be Afraid!

“A young man dressed in a white robe … said, ‘You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, Who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples and Peter … ‘” (Mark 16:5-7).

“Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid” (Mark 16:8).

Who wouldn’t tremble and be afraid! You go to anoint a body to prepare it for a proper burial, but the body is missing. Then some ethereal creature tells you the body isn’t there because it is no longer dead but alive. Who could take it in? “Don’t be alarmed” the man in white said. Yeah, right!

Yet, looking back, perhaps the women remembered the thousands He had fed with only two fish and five loaves of bread (Matthew 14:15-21). Maybe they thought again about the raising of Lazarus from the dead (John 11:38-44). After all, He was the one who had stilled the raging sea (Mark 4:35-41).

Somewhere, sometime, that trembling and bewilderment turned to joy and faith, for they did go tell His disciples and Peter (Matthew 28:8). And Jesus met them and greeted them, and they worshipped Him. “Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brothers … ‘” (Matthew 28:9-10).

Jesus’ last command is the same as this one: Don’t be afraid. Go and tell. We can understand the fear of the women at the empty tomb. What are we afraid of? Trouble? Or hardship? Persecution? Or famine? Nakedness? Or danger? Or sword? There is no fear in these things! “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him Who loved us” (Romans 8:35, 37). We have the benefit of history. The women at the tomb couldn’t fathom the outcome, but we have God’s Word that assures us of our victory in Christ. We have His promise, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). So don’t be afraid! Go and tell!

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Peace —

Pastor Wegner

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