Last week, Keisha took us through the first “response to the cross/resurrection” post by diving a bit deeper into how the disciples, Jesus’ people, responded to the cross. Today, I am going to walk with you through just one small iota of what our response should be.
Take a minute first & reread the resurrection account in Matthew 28:1-10.
When did the women go back to the tomb according to verse 1?
The NASB says “as it began to dawn”. Put that in your own words: when did they go to the tomb?
Again, in your own words, what does it mean to do something first thing in the morning?
Basically, they went as soon as it was light enough to go. Without thought or hesitation to what else the day would hold, they gathered their materials, put on their sandals & headed to Jesus before anything else. Their absolute, first priority was to prepare Him for burial. Nothing else was going to get in the way of that…it was the first thing.
Word for word, what did the angel say to the women in 5-6?
Go back to verse 6. The angel tells the women Jesus is not there. What words immediately follow that?
“Come and see.” The greek of come is deute– meaning “to go” or “come follow”. The greek of see is eido- meaning to know, be aware, have knowledge. The angel was saying “come follow & know He has risen”. It wasn’t enough to have this crazy angelic sighting. They needed to see the empty tomb & the left-behind head covering with their own eyes. They saw it.
Lets put this all together: the women went to the temple ___________ ____________. The angel told them ____________ & ___________.
Now, verse 7: what words were used that give the women specific action (so the verbs for all you grammar fans) on what to do next?
What about in Mark 16:7?
And what did they do in Luke 24:9?
In John 20:17, what does Jesus say to Mary?
They are given an action – something to do – in each of these verses. What is it?
These women come upon the single, greatest thing ever to happen in history. First thing in the morning, they go to Jesus. They are told to come & see [what the Lord has done] & then they are instructed to go & tell the world that Jesus has risen. They didn’t sit idle or wonder, “What do we do next?” or “Should we really go & tell everyone?” or our favorite excuse, “What if they think we are crazy?” They didn’t do that. They went & told.
One of my favorite sections of scripture in the bible brings Matthew to a close. Read Matthew 28:18-20 & write it down here…
This section of scripture is referred to as the Great Commission, also referred to as our “marching orders.” The women go to Jesus’ in the tomb first thing in the morning, before anything else. They are instructed to “come & see” that Jesus has risen. Then they are given their marching orders to go & tell the disciples what has happened.
So thousands of years later, what does this mean for us? What is our response to the cross? Easter is over. We went to church. We shared some cards. Heck, one of our friends even came with us. Isn’t that enough? [Insert silent, blinking stare…]
When life continues to happen as it always does, we are first to go to our Savior – just like the women who went first thing in the morning. It should be our first priority. Before we go to our spouse or best friend or parents. Before we ever take to social media for advice, we go to our Jesus. We are to come & hear, come & see, what He has for us. Then we are to go & tell the world who He is & what His commands for us are.
None of us are exempt from this. No one of us has been set aside or excluded from the Great Commission. As it says in verse 19, “Go & make disciples.” The Mary’s were told to go & tell the world (well, technically they were told to tell the disciples, but they eventually went & told the world) what He has done & that He has risen…that there is hope in Jesus. And just because Easter is over doesn’t mean the message is. He is risen just as much today as He was that day. After all, you are reading this today, aren’t you? If they hadn’t taken the message to heart, none of us would be.