Matthew tells us in the last chapter of his Gospel that the two Marys came early in the morning, “to look at the grave.” We can picture the sorrowful scene—two women in the gray dawn standing helplessly, contemplating the tomb. There was nothing left to hope for, nothing left to see but a rock. We can see their drawn faces, bowed heads, the sag of their shoulders. Can we possibly picture those faces when there came a sudden earthquake, the descent of an angel, and the stone was rolled away from the grave? The angel was so dazzling, the guards (tough men, surly, and not in the least sorrowing like the women) collapsed in terror. The angel addressed the women: “You. . . have nothing to fear. . . He has been raised” (Matt.28:5,7). A few minutes later Jesus suddenly stood in their path.
We sometimes find ourselves looking at a “grave”—the end of all of our hopes. We are helpless, defeated. Our faces are long, our shoulders droop. What a difference it would make if, by faith, we would lift up our eyes to see the bright angel and the risen Savior. We really have nothing to fear—He has risen, exactly as He said. What a defeat His crucifixion seemed. What a triumph His resurrection was—and is, forever.
Don’t look at the grave. Look up. Jesus stands risen beside you, alive forever! Then think of His comforting word: “And be assured, I am with you always, to the end of time” (Matt. 28:20).
*Excerpt originally published in “Guided by God’s Promises”, pg. 28.