Do Not Be Afraid! He Is Risen! Rejoice!
Just as many of you do, we write notes these days to wish people a Happy Easter. My daughters make dozens of cards. They draw them, write messages, put them in envelopes and send them off. They are addressed to different people but each one of them contains these words, “Do not be afraid… He is risen” (Matthew 28:5-6).
These are the words that the angels said to the women who came to the tomb and were the first witnesses to the resurrection. These words give us joy and strength to live a new life that is not defeated by execution or death.
We want the news about the resurrection of Christ be more than just a reason to celebrate one day and then carry on with our lives as before. We want this news to deliver us from fear, uncertainty, despair, or doubts.
If He is risen, and if we know this, if we believe this, if we live it out by faith, we don’t have any reason to be afraid. Moreover, we have all the reasons to rejoice.
In the same chapter of the gospel of Mathew, after the women meet with the angels, they encounter Christ and hear Him greet them, “Rejoice!” Then Jesus repeats, “Do not be afraid” and gives the women (and all of us) an important commission, “Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.” (10)
We all have an important commission and that is to deliver this most important news to everyone. This news is the reason to be happy and celebrate: “He is risen!” Let’s say to each other, “Do not be afraid. He is risen. Rejoice!” Let’s share the news with those who are sick or dying, those who are in despair or depressed, and those who are afraid and don’t believe.
To fulfill Jesus’ commission, let’s go and tell everyone, He is risen!