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Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”Matthew 28:1-10
As light began to break on the first morning of a new week, some women went to visit the tomb. Spices in hand, with plans to anoint Jesus for a proper burial, they wondered who would roll away the stone (Mark 16:1). But when they arrived they found the stone already rolled away — not to let the risen Christ out, but to let the witnesses in! “He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay,” the angel instructed them. Sound too good to be true? Come see for yourself!
Afraid but filled with joy, they ran to do as the angel had commanded them. But before they reached the disciples, they were met by the resurrected Jesus. Imagine their wonder. Their fear. Their questions. The uncontainable joy they must have felt, as they responded to the moment in the only appropriate way — they worshiped him.
They watched as Jesus was tortured and killed only a couple of days ago. They saw him buried, the stone rolled in front of the tomb. And now he lives, just as he said. The answer to the most important question in history was standing right in front of them. Was Jesus who he claimed to be? Was he the promised Messiah? Was he the King of the Jews? The answer was back from the dead, and the kingdom of God was at hand.
This Easter Sunday, consider what it means to worship. First, we recognize Jesus’s deity; mysteriously he is the Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, and God himself. Therefore we revere, adore, and devote ourselves to him according to his worth as God. The empty tomb testifies to his power over sin and death. Along with these first witnesses, the only appropriate response is to fall down in adoration. Gratitude. Allegiance. Obedience. Love. And go tell others.
Our response to Jesus today is worship!