Today’s reading gives us an account of Matthew’s gospel on the resurrection event. According to Matthew 28:8-15, Mary of Magdala and the other Mary went to the tomb to visit the sepulchre. At the tomb, they met an angel. The angel reveals to them that Jesus had risen from the dead. Also that He is going ahead of them to Galilee.
Then filled with awe and great joy, the women ran to tell the disciples. On their way, according to Matthew 28:8-15, they also met Jesus, who instructed them to tell the disciples to go to Galilee, and that is where He is going to meet them.
While they were on their way to spread the joyful news, the guards who were crippled and defeated went into the city to tell the chief priests what happened.
After having a meeting with the elders, they were bribed to lie that while they were sleeping, the disciples came through the night and stole the body.
This became also part of the news that was spread among the jews, even till today that it is hard for a core jew to believe that the messiah has come and gone.
The Easter Message.
All the gospel accounts strive to achieve one thing; that there are living witnesses of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
During the crucifixion and agony of Jesus, the disciples may have lost hope that their intention of occupying the Kingdom of Israel as they thought had been dashed to the ground.
This is because they also like that the Jews believe that Jesus is a political messiah.
This is why the mother of James and John took her sons to Jesus to seek the position of left and right in His kingdom (Matthew 20:20-28). And this why Peter once rebuked Jesus for saying that He will suffer (Matthew 16:21-22).
Even John reported that they did not understand the scriptures that Jesus would resurrect (John 20:9).
So, when the witnesses heard that Jesus is alive, they were filled with awe. The Greek word used here is φόβου phobou, meaning fear, awe. This is a feeling mixed with wonder, respect and fear.
So, according to Matthew 28:8-15, they ran to spread the message with fear and great joy. Imagine how they felt, to know that their master is now alive, their hope was restored and their faith strengthened.
So, the Easter message is the message of hope, a message of joy and excitement, a message that is full of wonder and faith uplifting. The message of Easter gives assurance and life to those who may lose faith in God.
It assures that God is Almighty, real, Omnipotent and does things that can make a man wonder in amazement.
The event of the resurrection hereby should strengthen our faith in God more and convince us that God is always alive.
When Jesus appeared to the witnesses, as Matthew 28:8-15 reports, He told them to go and tell the disciples that He has risen and that He is no longer in the tomb. They should go to Galilee and wait for Him.
Since everything that happened throughout these moments from the triumphant entry to the resurrection happened in the city of Jerusalem, there is an indication that many of the disciples of Jesus were still hanging around the city. For example, Mary of Magdala is not from Jerusalem.
She is from Magdala. Magdala is a city on the western side of the Sea of Galilee between Tiberias and Capernaum. But She came almost early in the morning to anoint the body of Jesus, an indication that She may have stayed back in Jerusalem after the Passover.
So, Jesus requests them to spread the message of joy to His hometown and His disciples.
In the same vein, Jesus expects us to use this moment to spread the message of joy and hope to our neighbourhood, where we live and to many who are far from God.
Bring joy to your family, establish peace in your homes, strengthen their faith and tell them that God is real.
In the same vein, Jesus consoled the disciples that He is still alive. Let us use this moment and bring a message of hope, faith and love to the depressed, worried and many who may have lost faith in God.
The Message that We Spread.
As the disciples spread the message of joy and hope, the guards spread the message of lies. They spread the message of deception and hence, misleading the public. This affected the faith and belief of many to this day.
So we can also ask ourselves “Which message have we chosen to spread? Is it to bring souls to God or to disperse them? What is your Easter message?
Are you making people lose faith in God or make them have faith In Him? Are you bringing messages that will destroy your family unity or bring them together? Hence, do we make effort in bringing joy to the suffering this time or causing more pains to them?
Do we like the guards, see the truth and cover them? Do we hide the truth because we want cheap popularity or to impress someone or somebody?
How often do we lie against someone because we want to curry favour? So in this Easter, God expects us to use this Easter moment to make things better rather than to destroy. Let us choose wisely.
May God have mercy on us . May He give us the grace to bring joy and hope to the people that we meet in life and bless you especially in these moment of joy. Amen.
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