And the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you to Galilee. There you will see Him; behold, I have told you.”
“Do not be afraid.” We need these words more often than we care to admit. When facing difficult circumstances, we need the reminder to not let fear lead the way.
The angel reassured the startled women to not be afraid. This was a common trait of human encounters with angels (Dan 10:12; Luke 1:13). The angel knew why they were there. He knew they were looking for Jesus of Nazareth—the One they had seen crucified and whose mangled body they expected to find in the tomb. He knew that Jesus had been their leader and shepherd. He knew they had gone to the tomb to care for Him in His death, just as they had while He was living. Yet, upon their arrival, the women’s grief turned to fear.
Yet, they didn’t have to be afraid, because Jesus is alive. Indeed, He had risen from the dead. But there was more. The angel gave the women a command and a word of comfort. He instructed them to go at once to tell the disciples what they had seen and heard. Then he comforted them with the news that Jesus had already gone ahead of them. What hope must have come from hearing that the Savior who had died before their eyes had not truly left them. He had gone ahead of them, and He would meet them, if only they would follow after Him. In these simple words, we can also take heart knowing that Jesus has also gone ahead of us. He will be with us every step. We only have to follow and to carry the good news so others might join us.
- What are you afraid of right now? What unknown future, current struggle, or recent loss has left you afraid?
- Where do you need Jesus to go ahead of you and make a way? How can you follow Him, even now?
- Thank God for being the kind of Savior who always goes ahead of you. Ask Him to make a way where you can’t see—even through fear, pain, and the unknown.