And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. ~Matthew 28:9
How would you have responded to seeing Jesus alive three days after He was declared physically dead and laid in a tomb? Would you have been afraid and run away? Would you be excited and embrace Jesus? Would you have gone to town to tell everyone in town what you saw? This morning, let us pay particular attention to the words “all hail” and see what the Lord expects of us in terms of the resurrected Christ.
We see the miracle resurrection.
“He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” The resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead is the greatest miracle ever. No man before or after has ever come back from the dead and remained alive. When Jesus rose again, death and Satan were conquered. When Jesus rose again from the dead, he fulfilled all prophecy that both he and the prophets made concerning this event. This miracle is validated by various separate occurrences. First, the Roman seal was broken and the stone was rolled away. It demonstrated that no power – physical, spiritual, legal or otherwise – could keep Jesus from coming out of the tomb. Second, the grave clothes and napkin that covered his head were neatly left on the slab he was laid on. The appearance was evident that a body came out of them. Third, he was seen of over 500 witnesses. The apostles saw him, spoke with him, ate with him, and spent much time with him. He is risen as he said!
We see the mercenaries recoiling.
“And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.” These soldiers were part of the Roman watch entrusted with the safekeeping of the tomb. When they saw the angel of the Lord roll back the stone and then sit on it, these men of war shook and were paralyzed with fear. These men who were not God-fearing were shaken in their souls and in their shoes! It’s amazing how those who are Christ-denying in their minds and behavior will recoil in fear when God shows Himself strong. I have often wondered if these soldiers had trouble sleeping or concentrating for the rest of their lives because of what they saw. We must be reminded that if you do not have faith in our Lord, a fear of our Lord is what He will send to get our attention.
We see the matrons rejoicing.
These women were very devoted to Christ because of the changes He did in their lives. These women steadfastly stayed at the cross during the whole time he suffered and eventually died. They watched from a distance as Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus prepared the body and placed it into the tomb. They had one goal that Sunday morning, and that was to anoint the body of our Lord. As they approached that tomb in the wee hours of the morning, their hearts were heavy with sorrow. When they saw the stone rolled away and heard the announcement by the angel, they were filled with mixed feelings: feelings of bewilderment mixed with hope. Can you imagine what occurred in their hearts when they saw Jesus and He said, “All hail”? In the Greek, “all hail” is one word that means “rejoice” or “gladness.” As soon as Jesus said this to them, they fell to their faces, took Him by the feet, and worshipped Him. Our response to the resurrection is to replicate that of these women. Our continuous response is to rejoice in worship that He is alive and invincible! Brother and sister in Christ, rejoice in worship that Jesus is the resurrection and the life!
May the power of the resurrection touch our lives in a fresh and powerful way as we consider what these precious women did when our Lord met them! Rejoice that He is risen as He said!
Have a rejoicing God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Acts 18-20