Coming And Going
An angel was sitting on top of the stone which had covered the entrance to Jesus' grave. Speaking with authority, the angel kindly commanded the women who had come to the burial site in the early morning. They were afraid: shaken by the earthquake, shocked that the tomb was open and the guards were just standing there in a daze, surprised by the dazzling appearance of the angel in glistening white clothes … it was too much to deal with.
The angel spoke. He knew they were afraid, and why they had come – to see a mummified corpse. But the body had gone; and so he invited the women to witness that fact and to link what they saw with the words of Jesus. He had told them about the resurrection, but they had not believed because it was outside of their experience. Now it was important to believe Jesus in a new way, knowing that what He had said was really true.
However awed they felt, the garden tomb was not the place to stay. Jesus had risen and He wanted to meet with the disciples as He had previously commanded them (Matthew 26:32), to give them His Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20). The women were not only the first witnesses of the resurrection but the first human messengers – calling people to meet the risen Jesus. The instruction was loaded with urgency and signed off with divine authority. They had no doubt about what they had to do, and Jesus did not disappoint them (Matthew 28:8-10).
The essence of gospel ministry is that we have to 'come and see' before we can 'go and tell'. Although the women were not really evangelists in the full sense of the word, they exemplified the principle. They had a message to tell because they had believed God's Word and discovered it to be true in their experience. God commands us to come to Him, to encounter Him – before we go out to speak for Him and encourage others to meet Him. Like that, our message is personal, potent and urgent. That is why Word@Work is written: so that you can come to the Lord and be renewed by His truth – then you can live and speak for Jesus in your workplace and community.
© Dr Paul Adams