Have you ever read or heard something so many times you find yourself barely paying attention every time you reread or hear it again? I’m guilty of it myself. It’s usually during one of these times I catch myself surprised by something I had never noticed before. This past Easter sermon was one of those occasions.
When the women went to the tomb and found Jesus missing, they became very upset. Probably quite hysterical. They wanted to know who took their Jesus and where had they moved Him and they wanted to know right then! And the angel told them that He wasn’t there, but had risen. We are familiar with this part of the story. But for whatever reason, I had never heard or read the second part of what the angel said. It wasn’t anything profound, but for some reason those four words stuck with me through the week.
“He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said,” ~ Matthew 28:6
“He is not here; He has risen! Remember how He told you, while He was still with you in Galilee,” ~ Luke 24:6
Can you imagine the scene that morning? Their emotions probably ran the gamut of anger to despair to confusion. They probably even questioned their sanity for a second or two. They had walked with Jesus. Listened to His teachings. How could they have forgotten something as important as His promise to rise from the dead? Did the angel chastise the women and say, “Look at you. You spent all that time with Him and you still don’t get it. You should know where He is. Did you pay attention at all when He was talking or did you just show up for the free food?” Of course he didn’t. The angel gently reminded them.
How many times in our own trials and tribulations do we cry out, tears streaming down our cheeks? How many times do we shout, “Where are you, Jesus?” How many times is our grief or situation so overwhelming that we forget what Jesus has said? Any other time, we could recite Bible verses like the alphabet, but then that one event comes along that sets us into a tailspin and we become so wrapped up in our own private (sometimes public) freak-out that we can’t even breathe much less remember what Jesus said.
Do you need to be reminded? I know I do! Sometimes daily. Sometimes minute by minute!
In a world where we are bombarded by lies and deception, we need to remember the things Jesus has promised us. We need to be reminded of the truth. Why? Because Satan would love nothing more than to keep us bound by our struggles and the defeating thoughts that come with them. Jesus came to set the captive free. That prisoner is you. It’s me. It’s the lady at McDonald’s who rolls her eyes and huffs every time you ask for the napkins she never puts in the bag. It’s all of us. John 8:32 says we will know the truth and the truth will set us free. If you believe one thing that Jesus has said, then you must believe them all because Jesus cannot lie.
So what did Jesus say? What are some of the truths that you can hold on to?
1. We are not alone. “Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” ~ Matthew 28:20
2. We are healed by faith. “Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.” ~ Matthew 9:22
“When He entered the house, the blind men came up to Him, and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” Then He touched their eyes, saying, “It shall be done to you according to your faith.” ~ Matthew 9:28-29
3. All things are possible with God. “Jesus replied, ‘What is impossible with man is possible with God.'” ~ Luke 18:27
4. Don’t worry. “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” ~ Matthew 6:25-34
5. He will carry our burdens so we can rest. “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” ~ Matthew 11:28-30
6. He will return. “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. ” ~ John 14:3
No matter what you are going through right now, whether your circumstances are good or bad, I pray you can find comfort in these promises. ..these truths. Find solace in remembering the words of our Savior. God bless you all!