Resurrection Directives

Far too many people quickly read over the accounts of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, if they read them at all. Matthew’s record by the Holy Spirit calls any true disciple to joyful loving actions in regard to the powerful resurrection of Christ.
Resurrection Directives
Source - Image owned, uploaded and copyrighted 2017 by the author, Peter P. Macinta (BrotherPete).

Most people if they know anything valid about Jesus Christ know that He was brutally crucified. Some might even be able to state that He died to redeem mankind from sin. They would go on to say that the Gospels record that He rose from the dead after three days. Here is part of that account from Matthew 28:1-8.

Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave. 2 And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord

descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. 3 And his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. 4 The guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men. 5 The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. 6 He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. 7 Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you.” 8 And they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples.

Women were the first to come to Christ’s tomb. God saw to it that an angel would inform them that Jesus was risen. This was necessary because the minds of His disciples did not grasp that Jesus would literally rise from the dead three days after His death. In the angel’s address to the women as found in verses 5 to 7 we will see three directives not only for them, but for all those who are truly committed to Him.

I. Fear Not - 5

Before I get to some of the actual devotional meanings of this first directive from the angel I want to point out that the statement sometimes heard or seen on the Internet that the term “fear not” occurs 365 times in the Holy Bible is completely false {1}. It only occurs around 71 times and adding in other possibilities like “be not afraid” does not even bring it close to that mark of 365.

In Matthew 28:5 the first subject most likely to come mind as not to fear is death, and more is to be said about it under the next directive, “Come see.” Basically, of course, the leader these disciples deeply loved was alive and well. Nor would He be out of reach because even decades later when the Apostle John was left to waste away on the island of Patmos Jesus appeared to Him and said (Revelation 1:17f-18), “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades."

Persecution would be another thing to fear. It was imminent because many of the Jewish leaders had developed a hatred of Jesus. But the Jewish leaders are not the source of that hatred. Satan is (see Revelation 12). It is very much on the increase now because Christ will soon return and the sinful human flesh knows that Christ will soon rule on earth. What the resurrected Christ told the Church of Smyrna is very applicable for many today (Revelation 2:10), “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life."

Current events, especially when this article was first published, certainly can bring fear. However, the real Christian has at least two advantages, the resurrected Christ within and the written Word which has told us ahead of time that certain things will happen and they will increase in frequency and speed. Right now, if I think back to the 1960s I can only think of a handful of things that, because of not personally knowing Christ, worried me, things like the cold war with the Soviet Union, the Vietnam War, and social unrest in the U.S.A. Today I can list a great number of things that are really a huge concern for many. For one thing, ISIS makes the Communists look like a band of kitty cats. More countries and ethnic groups are against each other than ever before. However, Jesus said (Luke 21:28), "But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." Christ will soon return and many will rule and reign on earth with Him for a thousand years.

Aside from all of these, fear of not having what is needed, or what personal circumstances might come, can be a nagging fear. Yet we read in Luke 12:28-32 Jesus saying “But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith! And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying. For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things. But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you. Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.”

The contingency to replace fear with peace as indicated in this passage is seeking first the kingdom of God, with Christ as king {2}. So, we need to make Him King of our life first. Because He is risen He can reside in our heart as King. As we grow in Him, loving trust in God replaces worry and anxiousness even for daily needs. And, the risen Christ as King will help us to really know what truly is a need and what actually is only a desire.

Before we continue to the second directive it is good to note that the angel said “fear not” only to the women ad not to the guards! This teaches us that it is good for us to be on God’s side. That means we should make a full surrender to God through Christ, forsaking sin, self, and anything else displeasing to God.

II. Come See - 6

Viewing that empty tomb would immediately speak of the Savior’s victory over death. As it is written in 2 Timothy 1:10, “. . . our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, . . .". In the Gospel of John Jesus tells Lazarus’ sister, Martha, (John 11:25-26), “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die."

As the


Holy Spirit moved upon Paul to write many of the epistles we learn that God raising someone from the dead as He did Christ indicates the one who had been dead was justified. If we make Christ our King, not only are we crucified with Him we are also partakers of His resurrection. Because Christ fully paid our penalty for sin, we are also justified, as it is written Romans 4:25, “He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification."

Further, the empty tomb speaks to us we are to see Christ enthroned (Revelation 3:21): “He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne." We can only overcome through Him, the risen One. Romans 6:4 states, “Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life."

That means we are to come to Him and see that our focus needs to be above this world (Colossians 3:1-3): “Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God."

When we come and see the empty tomb we will realize that the One Who had been in there now has a new glorious body that will remain forever. If we remain in Him we shall also have the same type of body. 1 John 3:1-5 instructs us as follows: “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin.”

So just as we see that tomb was empty of physical death we are to be coworkers with the Holy Spirit to stop practicing sin, because in Christ there is no sin. No one can remain a real Christian and at the same time remain as anything that 1 Corinthian 6:9-10 and other passages state. One might have tendencies along sinful lines, but as we grow in Him those tendencies will be crushed by His presence.

III. Go Quickly And Tell  - 7

Quickly certainly indicates urgency. Our “going” needs to be a priority. And while every true disciple knows personally that Christ is risen we are still to speak of it and live it. We are to encourage each other and spiritually build each other up in the Body of Christ. Even Simon Peter, who would deny Christ three times, would be used by God in such a wonderful ministry. Jesus said to him in Luke 21:31-32, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

A great time to herald that Christ is alive is when a real Christian dies (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18), “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.”

Because Christ is alive, this “go quickly” is also strongly attached to the “go” of Matthew 28:19-20, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I  commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

Quickly is with speed and priority, the same thought from Christ as found in Revelation 22:20, “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.” If you have not fully trusted in God through Christ, turn to Him now. If you are saved, as guided and empowered by the Holy Spirit quickly do whatever God tells you to do.

N o t e s : 

{1} Analysis for “fear not" and related wording was performed by using the Online Bible program which may be downloaded in North America at http://onlinebible.net/ and elsewhere at http://www.onlinebible.org .

{2} Please read Let King Jesus Lovingly Triumph In You at http://holybibletreasures.expertscolumn.com/article/let-king-jesus-lovingly-triumph-in-you .

This article was written in the form of a sermon (message) outline with comments. God willing by May 14, 2017 (hopefully much sooner), you should be able to hear the actual message (sermon) by selecting a link at http://www.sapphirestreams.com/life/audioM.html#M448 .

Unless otherwise noted all Holy Scripture is from the New American Standard Bible changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates. * = For other versions the spelling of some words is updated for our time in addition to changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates.

Not responsible for any advertisements appearing with this article nor am I necessarily in agreement with any of them. The statements of this paragraph hold true not only for this article, but for everything I have placed on the Internet.



Article Written By BrotherPete

I am a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, having served over forty years as a pastor. I graduated from Northeast Bible College of Green Lane Pennsylvania and have a Bachelors Degree in Bible. I am enthused about the Word of God and how it can make a positive change in the life of anyone once it is teamed up with faith and the Holy Spirit. I am happily married. Visit www.sapphirestreams.com.

Posted on 13-04-2017 57 0

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