Do not be alarmed…

Mark 16: 1-8

 Saturday evening, when the Sabbath ended, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome went out and purchased burial spices so they could anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on Sunday morning,  just at sunrise, they went to the tomb. On the way they were asking each other, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?”  But as they arrived, they looked up and saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled aside.

When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a white robe sitting on the right side. The women were shocked, but the angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth,  who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body. Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died.”

The women fled from the tomb, trembling and bewildered, and they said nothing to anyone because they were too frightened.

 Watchers…the women.  Where were the men, the disciples, the ones who knew him so well?  The women knew where the body was.  It went into the tomb on Friday, they bought the spices on Saturday, they went to the tomb on Sunday.  Fear.   Fear again.  They were told again, not to fear.  When it is dark in an unfamiliar place, we fear the unseen; when the understanding is dark, not clear, we fear the unknown.  They were told plainly, “He has risen.”  They were watchers; they saw the body go into the tomb, the stone placed in front of the entrance.  That was what they knew.  What they now see is out of their known world and understanding.  They have no experience, no knowledge of dead bodies rising other than when Jesus performed the miracles and his is the dead body!

 We have more information, this has been shared with us.  We do not need to face the unknown with fear.  Fear brings stress upon our bodies; while our heads tell us we are not afraid, our body can tell the truth.  We can name the fear and watch it disappear.  We can call on the One who says not to fear and sense the changes in our body as the fear leaves.  We are often placed in positions much like these watchers…fill in the blank:  They/we have no experience, no knowledge of _____________________ other than what we have seen or heard of from others, perhaps not even that much knowledge.  They/we are now faced with a change before us we don’t understand.  They/we hear the words, Fear not.  Now what?

 Listen…fear not…When we face an unknown, a change in our time and space we haven’t been to before, we can draw on this, on these two words; fear not.  This is Christ’s command over and over again.  We know it and know the power He has available to us to overcome.  When we use His Words,say them: we will not fear; we are putting God’s Word into action, we are generating faith in that which will overcome the unknown.  We are expecting what we haven’t seen.  That is faith.  That is God’s Word alive and active in us.

 Let’s not have a spirit of fear when facing the giants of today’s world.  Let us stand as David did, confident, not in our own strength but in the sure knowledge that He stands with us and it will be His power that defeats the giants.  2 Chronicles 7:14 – Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.

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