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‘Do not be afraid…He has risen’ – Matthew 28:5-6
We are living in strange times. It feels as if an unseen enemy is lurking around every doorway, every street and every shop ready to pounce on the unsuspecting victim. I travelled to town for essential shopping after two weeks isolation and all I could sense was apprehension and fear. The buzz of voices in the shops had disappeared. Folk didn’t want to hang around, there was no chit chat at the tills.
Currently, there is no cure for coronavirus, no vaccine or drug to counteract this terrible disease which has resulted in lockdown and in some cases, total isolation from friends and family. Fear is a powerful emotion which can have devastating effects on individuals, especially when we know of family and friends and neighbours who have been affected, and some not making it through. That is the reality of our life today.
In the midst of all this, Christians have just celebrated Easter when we remember the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. However, even then, there was great fear. Jesus falsely tried and crucified and laid in a tomb. What of the disciples’ future, how safe were they from the authorities who wanted to kill them?
The women who ran to the tomb that Sunday morning didn’t know what to expect. They saw the tomb opened and the guards lying ‘like dead men’. The first thing the angel said was, ‘Don’t be afraid..HE HAS RISEN’. Those three words changed their future, the disciples’ future and ultimately, ours too.
That evening, the disciples were locked behind closed doors, in isolation, and very fearful. Suddenly Jesus appeared to them and His first words were ‘Peace be with you’. He knew they were terrified and only He could allay their fears. After that, as they say, is history.
The Christian church was established and Christ’s Holy Spirit has remained with mankind since then bringing peace and hope where none existed. He also defeated an unseen enemy, Satan, who thought the cross was the end of Christ whereas it was just the beginning of hope for mankind.
None of us can tell what will happen in the next few months. But one thing I am sure of is that this risen Christ, who conquered death and the grave, is still offering His peace and love and a hope for the future for all who seek Him as Saviour.
Do not be afraid..He has risen!