And they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to report to His disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Rejoice!” And they came up and took hold of His feet, and worshiped Him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go, bring word to My brothers to leave for Galilee, and there they will see Me.”

Today’s passage begins by telling us the women were still afraid. Yet, that wasn’t all; they also had joy.

This joy was a result of good news. The angel told them their Savior was not dead. Jesus’ other followers needed to know too. In that moment, they experienced a mingling of fear and joy. Surely, we can relate. Hearing the truth of God, we may also experience both fear and joy. We experience reverential fear of God, as the women did in the presence of God’s messenger, but also joy over the good news of the gospel.

With one word (“He has risen” is one word in the Greek), the whole story was reversed. The Savior that they had followed and watched die was miraculously alive, and in these verses, He was standing right in front of them! The words of Psalm 30:5 were beginning to ring true for the mourning women: “Weeping may stay overnight, but there is joy in the morning.” They had spent two nights weeping, but early on this first Easter morning, joy was possible again.

As they met Jesus face-to-face, everything changed, and they worshiped there in the middle of the road. Jesus then called them to respond. He was returning to Galilee, the place where it all began. There He would send out His followers with the good news of His resurrection. As we follow Jesus, and experience fear and joy together, we are also called to go and proclaim the good news of the gospel to everyone we meet.

  • How have you experienced this mingling of fear and joy in following Jesus?
  • Where is Jesus leading you? How is He calling you to follow daily in obedience on the path He has walked before you?
  • Spend time in prayer praising God for His ability to bring life from death. Rejoice in the ways you have personally experienced that reality.