Tag Archives: Tomb

Emails to God – The Resurrection (Matthew 28:1-10)

1After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook 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 was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

Dear God, there are different tellings of this story in the Gospels, and it is interesting to see the different details that each write shares. Matthew seems to be more nuts and bolts about the story. Perhaps it’s the accountant in him. He doesn’t tell us the story about Jesus appearing as a gardener. He doesn’t tell us about Peter and John running to the tomb to check it out for themselves. But I just looked at the other four stories and I think this is the only one that mentions the earthquake.

In times like this I always try to take the story’s details and try to figure out what the author’s message to me is. What is it that Matthew wants me to take away from this? In this case, I think he wants me to know that:

  1. It was the women who were out working to ensure Jesus was buried correctly. In fact, the disciples didn’t do anything to take care of Jesus’ body after the crucifixion (that was left to a couple of Jewish church leaders) and they were apparently not going to do anything to ensure his body was buried correctly (perhaps this was considered “women’s work” at that time, but it’s still interesting).
  2. The women felt God move supernaturally. They felt the earthquake. They saw the angel. They saw the stone had been moved. They saw the guards “like dead men.”
  3. The angel told them that Jesus was alive, “just as he said,” he was going to Galilee, and that they needed to tell the disciples to meet him there.
  4. The women actually saw Jesus himself, and He also told them to tell the disciples about meeting Him in Galilee.

Father, I guess my overall take away from this story is that this wasn’t a vague, mysterious resurrection. You demonstrated your power. You communicated with the women who were trying to care for Jesus. You reminded them that this had all been predicted before. Then Jesus actually appeared to them. There was no room left for interpretation. Thank you for this story. Thank you for the resurrection. There is a gentleness about this story that is sweet. It seems to be about reassurance (to the women) and forgiveness (of the disciples). There is no vengeance here for the terrible death of Jesus. There is only a continued execution of the plan. How great is that?

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Posted by on May 22, 2012 in Matthew


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Emails to God – Overwhelming Situations (Matthew 27:62-66)

62 The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63 “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.”

65 “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.

Dear God, I have two things here. First, the Pharisees seem to remember Jesus’ words about rising from the dead better than the disciples. Perhaps the disciples were just distraught out of grief and just couldn’t must the faith. It’s not like the Pharisees had faith. They just didn’t want the disciples to deceive people.

Second, I notice here that Pilate was willing to play along with the Pharisees and indulge them. Perhaps he was afraid of Jesus’ disciples deceiving people. Or maybe he just wanted to get rid of the Pharisees and giving them a couple of guards and a seal was a small price to pay for that.

I guess there’s a third thing I am noticing now that I think about it. I’m not sure if this is right, but the Pharisees were doing all of this on the Sabbath. That sure seems like a lot of work and effort for them to be doing on the Sabbath.

This must have been an overwhelming and confusing time for all of them, including the disciples. Events were happening so fast and they were trying to do as much damage control as possible. I’m sure it was something that everyone involved was only able to sort out after it was all over and they could look back on it.

Father, I have things going on in my life that are confusing to me. From things and situations at work to things and situations at home. My first inclination is to ask you to help me figure all of these things out, but my real request is that you will help me to respond to each thing that comes in front of me today with your power. Help me to hear your still small voice at each moment. Help me to “see the whole board” as much as possible. Even when I don’t realize you are doing it, guide me in each decision I make and save me from bad decisions that might negatively impact me later in life.


Posted by on May 21, 2012 in Matthew


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