(Matthew 28:7, The Message) “Now, get on your way quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He is risen from the dead. He is going on ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there.’ That’s the message.”
“That’s the message,” the angel said. Such a simple message to relay, yet it was the first act of our most important role as followers of Christ…our Great Commission. It’s why we live and breath. And this message is a three-fold message of hope.
- “He is risen from the dead.” — Without the resurrection, God’s promise to us would not be complete. Now, because Christ lives, we are in covenant with God our Father who has faithfully fulfilled His end of the deal. Our hope is in this great and final victory over sin and death. 1 Corinthians 15: 55-57 reminds us: 55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
- “He is going on ahead of you to Galilee.” — Oh man I love this! Yes, this was a message for the disciples who would be heading to Galilee, but…Galilee was Jesus’ home! This is our hope…that our Lord Jesus is going ahead of us…preparing a place for us…in His home…our home…Heaven!! (John 14:3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. And further still, we have hope in knowing that every path we take has been scouted out. He has gone before us, and He sticks by our side…every single step of the way. (Deuteronomy 31:8) The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
- “You will see Him there.” — This is our hope…our reward…that we will one day look upon the face of Christ. We will see Him there. Where? Revelation 1:7 promises us: “Riding the clouds, he’ll be seen by every eye…” Whether your soul is at rest or still within your body doing work…no matter what you’re up to…every eye will see Him — face to face. One of my favorite songs paints the picture so beautifully.
“We Shall Behold Him”
The sky shall unfold
Preparing His entrance
The stars shall applaud Him
With thunders of praise
The sweet light in His eyes, shall enhance those awaiting
And we shall behold Him, then face to face
O we shall behold Him, we shall behold Him
Face to face in all of His glory
O we shall behold Him, yes we shall behold Him
Face to face, our Savior and Lord
The angel will sound, the shout of His coming
And the sleeping shall rise, from their slumbering place
And those remaining, shall be changed in a moment
And we shall behold him, then face to face.
And that, my friends, is the message: He rose from the dead, He’s gone before us, and we will see Him there. That’s our hope…a hope we so desperately need, as we are living in a world where evil is so common, so rampant, and so accepted. We…have…hope!
(Hebrews 6:18-20, The Message) We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us…
But it doesn’t end with our comfort in knowing we have hope, because (like Mary and Mary at the tomb) we have been instructed to go quickly and share our message of hope. We are His ambassadors to the world.
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for hope. Through your word I am given every bit of strength, knowledge, wisdom and truth that I need to fulfill my end of the deal. Until I see your face, I know that I have a job to do. Help me to do it gracefully, boldly, and with the love and authority you have placed within me. Amen.