Read Matthew 28:1-7

The two Marys go to the tomb to complete the embalming process. But their expectations are completely undone. They have come to wrap the departed with spices, but God will clothe the dead with life. They will wonder who will roll the stone for them to access the body; the angel will roll it to reveal an empty tomb. They had arrived slowly in sadness; they will leave quickly in fear and amazement.

The angel confronted the women with the immortal words: “He is not here for He is risen”.

In the resurrection, we turn from the works of man to the work of God. Man has done his work: he has rejected, mocked, tortured, killed and buried Christ. But man’s work is not the end. God now sets to work. He demonstrates His power, sets His seal of approval on the Son and gains all the glory.

The angel gives the women a message and a commission. The message is, ‘He is not here. He is risen.” These are the facts of God’s mighty work. The commission is, ‘Go quickly and tell his disciples.” 

Here is the form of God’s dealings with men and women: He acts, He declares, He sends.

Christ is risen! This is the act of God. The angel tells the women what has happened. This is the declaration of God. The angel says, ‘Go quickly”. This is the commission of God.

So it is today for the church of God. The centrepiece of our faith is the resurrection of the Lord. We have an empty tomb. We have the declaration of the angel. We have the appearances of the Saviour. We have the testimony of the disciples. And the Risen One has commissioned His disciples to tell all the nations.

In one sense this is the end of the journey. But it is also the beginning of a new journey. God has acted, He has declared and He has commissioned. The words of Matthew’s gospel end, appropriately enough, with another, ‘Go’ – ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.” Like those obedient women, we are to leave the empty tomb behind, to go on a new path, to tell of His resurrection and make disciples of all nations.

Hear what the angel says to the Church this Easter Sunday:

“He is not here, for He has risen! Go quickly and tell…”

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