How powerful is the resurrection! That Jesus chose to appear first to the least legally recognised humans within the Jewish and Roman political system.
Matthew 28: 5-10
5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshipped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
This verse talks about the first witnesses of the resurrection. It’s a story that blends the natural and supernatural. The resurrection and the situation that it is based around is a story of love and hope and equality and empowerment.
The first people to know of the resurrection are the angels. To me, this is a testament to the fact that God doesn’t need humans to share his message of salvation with the world.
The second people to be witnesses of God’s great power are women: in this period in history, a woman’s witness statement was not considered admissible in the Jewish court of law. Again, to me this shows that God doesn’t need humans to share his story or that he cared much about societal standards.
The third people that were chosen as witnesses were Jesus’ disciples. This indicates that God chose us to be part of his witnessing of salvation, as all Christians are disciples of Christ because we learn and grow from Him.
How kind is God to want us to be one of his story tellers; to choose to include us in his master plan? God could literally have chosen to declare his righteousness with rocks and flowers and birds. Instead, he chose us humans to declare it to the world.
But so often people shirk this privilege, saying that they weren’t given the heart for evangelism; that the missionaries are the ones to share the message; that actions alone are enough to share their love of Jesus. I used to be this person. I used to think that evangelism was shoving my opinions down other people’s throats. Sometimes, this is what evangelism looks like; but it shouldn’t. That isn’t exemplifying God’s love or grace.
Every Christian is a disciple of Jesus. God said “go tell my disciples”. God also said “go make disciples of all the earth”. God has included us in this outpouring of love upon this broken earth. Actions are not enough for a person to experience God’s love and Jesus’ gift. God’s Word is enough. Evangelism can be relational; loving, uplifting, empowering. By listening to the Holy Spirit and relying on him and not our own understanding we can share an attractive version of the Gospel.
If we truly appreciate the gift of the resurrection, I don’t believe we would be content to sit with it hidden from the world. Actions are awesome, but unless we can explain why we unconventionally love strangers, the meaning is lost in the noise of life. Listen to the Holy Spirit, ask him for opportunities to share, and to take up those opportunities to share. We should share with joy because God gives joy to us, so we should be able to help bring that joy to others.
Head: Has there been an opportunity for you to share the story of the resurrection with someone that you didn’t take up?
Heart: What is your current understanding of evangelism? Is your heart in the right place to share the Gospel? What is stopping you from sharing your hope and love that you’ve found in Jesus with other people?
Hands: How will you share your love of God and hope through salvation with others this week?
Prayer: Lord God, you are all mighty, all gracious, all loving, all powerful. You are so powerful that you don’t need us to share your Good News; but you chose us! Thank you Jesus that you died on that cross for me! Thank you that you chose me to be saved. Thank you that my hope is not found in this life and in my failures, but in your perfect sacrifice. I’m sorry that I sometimes chose not to share your hope with the world. Please help me to share my salvation and hope and love. I pray these things in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
A song to listen to: This is Amazing Grace https://open.spotify.com/track/3GyxrDr1uGOErfOAnaAPhG