All right. Good afternoon, everyone. I’m so excited to see you this afternoon. So happy to be here with you. I’m excited that well, first of all, thankful for the invitation to come and speak at the Florida school of preaching lectureships I was kind of hoping for a little pompom thing going on there. If you were at the dinner yesterday,
thank you. I’m excited to be here and really happy that my daughter, Evie Evie is my oldest daughter and she is here with me for the week. And so I’m happy to have her. I am very excited to meet some of you. So if you have talked through messaging before, and I just love hearing about the studies that you do I’m so I’m always just,
just feel so blessed after hearing somebody talk to me about a study that they’ve gone through. One of the ones that I’ve written, because for me writing, it was such a, a growing experience. And I’m so happy to share that with, with other people. My topic for the next two days has to do with words that Jesus spoke after his resurrection.
So this session, this first session, my topic is the risen Lord’s words with the women at the empty tomb. And then tomorrow, we’re going to talk about the words that the risen Lord spoke to Mary Magdalene. So today we’re going to talk about the women at the empty tomb. And tomorrow we’re going to talk about Jesus and his conversation with Mary.
And so I am, I have so much, I want to share with you. So I’m going to just jump right in and hopefully we will get it all covered in the next 45 minutes. So here we go. I want to start by asking you a question and I really want you to think about your answer to this question. And that question is what do you fear?
What do you fear? And, and I want you just for a minute to, to really think about your life. And when somebody asks you, what are you afraid of? I want you to think about what your answer would be. And I want you to think about that very personally. I want you to think about what are those things that cause you fear.
So let me give you a good definition of fear so that we can be kind of coming from the same angle, the Cambridge, the Cambridge dictionary defined it this way. And I really like this definition. Fear is an unpleasant emotion or thought that you have when you’re frightened or worried by something dangerous, painful, or bad. Now get this that is happening or might happen or might happen.
Now, as I’ll just speak for myself, I can worry myself to death about things that might happen that sometimes never do. And, and then also I really liked this definition because it uses the word frightened, but it also uses that word worry. And sometimes I think that word encapsulates my fear more than anything else where what if this happens? What if this happens?
Oh, I, you know, I can’t, if I do this, this might happen. And so I, once you, when you think about fear to think about that, this unpleasant emotion, this unpleasant feeling or thoughts that you have, and it could be something that scares you, or it could be something that worries you, or that causes you anxiety or stress,
stress. And it’s not necessarily something that is happening, but it’s something that might happen. And so I want you to keep that question in your mind, and then I want you to think about this next question. What brings you joy? What brings you joy? If somebody were to ask you, tell me what it is that, that you find joy in.
How would you answer that question? And I want you to think of joy in this way. And you’ve heard this before. I’m sure joy is a chosen state of inner contentment or peace satisfaction despite what is going on around you externally. All right. So it’s an inner peace, a contentment that you choose no matter what’s happening in the world around you.
All right. So I want you to, I want you to kind of keep those two ideas, those two definitions of those two states of being in your mind, fear and joy. And the reason why I want you to, I want you to dwell a bit on those words is because our text for this session has everything to do with these two words.
It has everything to do with what we read about happening in Matthew chapter 28, verses eight through 10. These words, fear and joy are both used to describe the state of the women that came and found the tomb of Jesus empty. Both of those words were used. Both were involved in a change that happened with these women, this transformation that happened with them,
that I am going to, I’m going to show you in scripture. That was just absolutely beautiful was life-changing for them, but can be life-changing for us today. It’s a change that happened when they saw and they heard their risen savior. They have everything to do with who we are and how we live today. Fear and joy. But listen, we can’t start with our text.
We can’t start with Matthew chapter 28 verses eight through 10. We can’t start there. We’re going to end there today. That’s going to be the end of our session. We’re actually going to go back to the beginning and we’re going to go to the beginning of the new Testament. We’re going to look at the book of Matthew at the beginning. So if you’ve got your Bible,
you might open it up to chapter one, because we’re going to take a look at the fulfillment of a prophecy that changed everything. And when I say it changed everything, it changed everything at that time and changed everything about every minute of, of all of time from then on. So in Matthew turned to chapter one and as you’re going there, and before we jump in,
I want to just remind you a couple of things about Matthew, just kind of as we start out. So I’ve got some things up on this screen, and I’m not sure if you can see them. So I’m just going to read down them really quick. We know that Matthew was a friend of Jesus. He spent time with Jesus. He was one of Jesus’ closest friends.
She was in that circle of the 12. He was an eyewitness. He saw things. He heard things. He was with Jesus and saw firsthand what, who Jesus was and what he did. He was an apostle I’ve already mentioned. He was one of the 12. He was called by Jesus. Jesus walked by him. One day, we read about this in Matthew chapter nine,
when he recounts Jesus, walking by him one day and he was outside and he was collecting taxes, doing this job. And Jesus said, follow me. And that you did. You dropped everything. And he followed Jesus. We know then that he was a Jew and he was a tax collector. Remember that tax collector threw him into a group of people that were not well-liked all right.
Tax collector by association kind of puts you into a category of corrupt. You were probably someone who was dishonest. People looked down upon on tax collectors. And in fact, they would lump them into the same category as sinners. Remember after Jesus called Matthew, after Jesus said, follow me and Matthew went and Jesus was sitting down and eating with Matthew and some others.
Remember the Pharisees started talking, saying, why is he eating with them? Look at him. He’s eating with tax collectors and sinners. And Jesus said, I come because the sick are the ones that need healing. These are the ones who me. And so Matthew was in that category. He was a tax collector. He wrote the gospel of Matthew,
and this is debatable, but around most people agree before the destruction of Jerusalem, which would have been an 80 seventies. So maybe sometime between 80 55 to 65, somewhere in there, but you’ll see different dates. It’s kind of debatable. It was after mark, but before Luke and before John. So in that range, we don’t know where he was when he died,
the date of his death. We don’t know the cause of his death. Those are things that are debated. Also, some people say that he died of natural causes, probably more likely it was that he was martyred for who he was and who he associated with. So there’s some things about Matthew, just to kind of bring those to your remembrance. But I want to talk about his,
his gospel, the book that he wrote, it was written specifically to a Jewish audience. He was a Jew. He was writing to Jews and he wanted them to know that Jesus was the Messiah. Jesus was the king of the Jews. And he set out in this book to prove it. Number one, remember he said, I was there. I saw it.
It was an eye witness to it. And so he goes through and he begins to talk to them. Or he begins in his book to lay out this evidence that Jesus was who he said he was. And he begins in Matthew one with a lineage, a lineage through Joseph Jesus’s earthly father. That goes all the way back to David. But then even further all the way back to Abraham,
this was important for the Jews to have that connection to David, but then even further back this connection to Abraham and then his book is full of old Testament prophecies. He uses the words, it was written. It has been fulfilled. It was fulfilled. He uses those terms throughout his book. He refers to over 60 old Testament prophecies. And so I want to talk about one of the very first prophecies that he mentioned to start us off in your,
in your Bible. Look at verses 18, starting in verse 18 down to verse 21. It’s talking about Mary being found with child of the holy spirit. Joseph was her fiance. We would say she was patrol to marry him and a name. Joel appears to Joseph and talks to him because he wasn’t sure what to do. When all of a sudden you find out that your,
your fiance is carrying a child and it’s not yours. It would have, it was going to be a disaster. How to handle that, what to do, should he put her away quietly? He didn’t know, but an angel appeared to Joseph. And this is what the angel said. It appeared in a dream to Joseph. And in verse 20,
it says, Joseph son of David do not be afraid to take you marry your wife for that, which is conceived in her, is of the holy spirit. And she will bring forth a son and you will call his name Jesus for, he will save his people from their sins. So all of this was done that it might move, might be fulfilled,
which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet saying in verse 23, behold, the Virgin shall be with child and bear a son. And they shall call his name Emmanuel, which is translated God with us. And right here, I want to stop. If you’re taking notes, I want you to write this changed everything. This changed everything, but this was,
this was a prophecy that came through the mouth of Isaiah from God. There will be a child born. His name is Emmanuel and Emmanuel means God with us. And this announcement to Joseph saying, Mary is carrying a son. He is going to be the savior of people. And just as Isaiah said, you will be called Emmanuel, meaning God with us.
And the angel started this whole conversation with Joseph saying, do not be afraid, do not be afraid. Mary is carrying a child who was God with us in your Bible. You can turn here, but you probably know this off. Just, just by memory, John chapter one, verse one, John chapter one, verse one. We see this description of God with us.
When it says in the beginning was the word and the word was with God. And the word was God. And then skip down to verse 14. And the word became flesh and dwelt among us. And we beheld his glory, the glory, as of the only begotten of the father, full of grace and truth. God, the son came to earth like a man in the likeness of a man,
a hundred percent God and a hundred percent man. And he lived as God with us on this earth. He lived here or here in fulfillment of prophecy. It had been prophesied that this would happen. And he carried out the will of the father. The significance of that changes everything. It changes everything in the Bible. As people became aware of God with us,
who Jesus was, as we see through the gospels, as we read what happened to the lives that were touched by God with us, we see something happen in the lives of people. We see a change, a transformation that happens and guess what that transformation involves. It involves fear and it involves joy. It involves this, change, this, this taking of the state of fear and flipping it and turning it because of who God with us is and what that means to joy.
And I want to take you on just a brief journey as we watched that happen in scripture. And then as we see how that plays out in our own lives today, the morning that that tomb was found empty, I’m going to tell you again, everything changed. Again. Everything changed once again for the better, in a way that God with us took on a deeper,
more personal eternal meaning. And that’s where you and I can. All right. So let’s look first in the book of Luke, Luke chapter two. So as you’re turning there, Luke chapter two, I want to remind you that the prophecy of the coming Messiah, the first one was at the very beginning. You remember this when God prophesied that he would have a Messiah that would be coming.
He talked to the serpent and he said, there is going to be one coming. That is going to be the savior of mankind. The Redeemer that’s going to come through the woman. This man is going to come through the woman. And then for generations and generations, the old Testament prophets talked about it. They talked about this king, this anointed one who was going to come and who was going to save his people.
No, the Jews knew it. They were waiting for it. They knew that the Messiah was coming. They just didn’t know when they didn’t know when he was coming. And then we get to Luke chapter two in Luke chapter two, there are some shepherds who are out in a field, tending their sheep. When all of a sudden they see something,
they see something that caused them. Great fear, Luke chapter two. Now there was in the same country. This is starting in verse eight, shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night and behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them and the glory of the Lord shone around them. And they were greatly afraid the way that the Greek text words that,
and they were greatly afraid. The Greek text says it like this. They feared with a great fear. They were, they were so scared. They were terrified. They feared with a great fear and the angel comforts them and says, listen, first four words. The angel says to them, do not be afraid. Do not be afraid for behold.
I bring you good tidings of great joy, which will be to all people. Another really neat thing. And these are some just little extra things that just make this so rich, this text so rich in the Greek where it says, bring you good tidings. The Greek word is evangelize. I evangelize you with great joy. See this angel was bringing them good news.
The first to share the good news of Jesus and the blessings that were going to come from that message. We’re going to change the lives of those shepherds. And it was going to change the lives of everybody on this entire earth. So the angels appear, the shepherds are told how they can find that Messiah, how they confined this savior, who is Christ.
The Lord that the angel told them had been born. The angel tells them how to find him. And then you have this scene in verses 13 and 14, which we can only just try to imagine when the heavens are opened. And there’s a multitude of angels, all of a sudden up there in the sky worshiping and rejoicing. Can you imagine I have this picture that kind of shows these shepherds and their flock of sheep here.
And there’s this bright light. Y’all this last summer, my girls, I were able to stand down above that Shepherd’s field and look at it. And we sang the SAR song, the beautiful star of Bethlehem, and oh, just that emotion that trying to imagine the shepherds down there, seeing those angels and hearing this message, this proclamation that the Messiah had been born.
And then all of a sudden, this heavenly host praising God, can you imagine it was enough to send the shepherd straight into Bethlehem? They said, we’ve got to go. We’re going to take this message. We’re going to go find that baby. And the text says that they went and they found Mary and Joseph and they found Jesus. And they went,
when they saw him, they couldn’t keep quiet. They told everybody, it says in the text, they made it widely known what they had seen and what they heard. And it says in the text in verse 20 that they went back to their fields and they were glorifying and praising God for all of the things that they had heard and seen as it was told to them.
I want you to see here that in that first moment, and the angel first appeared, the shepherds were filled with fear and that’s phew. That’s terror. That’s phew, like real fear. Then they received the message. Then they went and saw it. They found Jesus just as the angel said, and then go back. They were transformed or changed on the way back to the flux.
They weren’t afraid they were praising. And they were glorifying God fear to joy, fear to joy because of Jesus, because of Jesus. Now around 30 years later, fast forward around 30 years. And Jesus is now a grown man and he’s ready to begin his ministry. As Jesus begins his ministry. He chooses some men to follow him, to be his,
his 12, that he’s going to take with him everywhere that he’s going to teach. And that he is one to rely on, to take the message. Once he’s gone, the apostles, a pasta loss, the Greek word, that means messenger or one who is sent on a mission. And as Jesus became known throughout his ministry, as he became known as a teacher and as a healer,
more people followed him. They were his disciples. He became known as a rabbi, a teacher, and he had students who listened to his message and took it to heart. And they followed him. But these followers of Jesus back at this time had a really good reason to be afraid. They had a good reason to be afraid following Jesus was not going to be an easy road.
It wasn’t going to be a really light, like casual path to take. It was going to require some things because Jesus was not like other rabbis. And he was not liked by religious leaders at the time, just to remember some of the things that Jesus did when he came, listen, he challenged tradition. He challenged motivations for doing things a certain way.
He performed miracles. He talked about a coming kingdom. He was friendly with sinners. He was a friend to sinners. He made himself equal with God. These were things that did not go over well with the religious leaders at the time. This does not go over well. In fact, by following Jesus, people risked their safety. They risked their freedom and they risked their lives.
They had reason to be filled with fear, but Jesus told them more than once. Do not be afraid. He wanted them to be filled with courage. He wanted them to be filled with joy. We see it time and time again. I picked out just a couple that I want to point out to you to write down. If you want to write it down in your notes,
Matthew 14, this is one of the first things that I think that when I think about a time that Jesus said, don’t be afraid. Matthew chapter 14, this is the account of Jesus. Walking on the water. This is Jesus coming out on the sea of Galilee. When the waves were high and crashing down a storm had come up. The wind was contrary.
My text says, and the disciples on the boat were afraid. They were afraid because of the storm. And you remember this, you remember this account where Jesus comes walking toward them on the water and they’re filled with fear. But Jesus says this be of good cheer. Be of good cheer. It is. I do not be afraid. And then I want you to remember that Emmanuel God with us,
steps into the boat, the wind stop. The storm is over and peace was brought into that boat. The disciples were filled with peace. After that, Jesus took their fear. And again, with them, he brought them peace. And then I want you to turn to John chapter 14, John chapter 14 brings it’s kind of in the middle of this,
this final, final words to the, to the apostles that Jesus has giving them. He has already had. They’ve already had the last suffer. He he’s already washed their feet. He has already identified the one who’s going to betray him. And now he’s going through a series of, of words. Some, some things for them to remember some things that he wants his followers to remember when he is gone in John chapter 14,
verses 27 and 28. Listen to what Jesus says. Peace. I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives, do I give to you? Let not your heart be troubled. Neither. Let it be afraid. You have heard me say to you, I’m going away. And coming back to you, if you loved me,
you would rejoice. Because I said, I’m going to the father for my father is greater than I know. Sometimes we read through that or I’ll just speak. I’ll speak for myself. Sometimes I read through that and I kind of read through it and I’m thinking, okay, peace, Jesus wants us to have peace. Okay? It’s not like the world.
I kind of skip over it. Not really thinking about what, what Jesus is saying here. So I want you to really see what he’s saying. He’s promising them a different kind of peace. Not, not worldly, peace, not peace. That is conditional. Like if you do this and I do this, then we can have peace or you have to do something and I have to do something.
And maybe if we can come to an agreement, we’ll have peace. That’s not, that’s not the kind of peace that Jesus is talking about. He’s talking about an unconditional kind of a peace. Listen to this. It is a peace and really a better translation of that word. Peace is to set as one. Let me say it again. That piece is to set as one,
Jesus sets us at one with God, we were separated. Our sin separated us. We were divided. We were away from God. Jesus brings us back and sets us up one with God. That’s the piece that we have. That’s the piece that Jesus did. Jesus did it. And that’s the piece that he gives us. I had brought you back to God.
And because of that, you have a hope that you did not have before me. That’s the piece. He was telling his apostles that he was going to give them and they didn’t understand it at that moment. But Jesus said, this piece is going to calm your fear, and it’s going to be use your troubled heart. Do you ever feel some days like you’ve got a troubled heart,
you ever feel like you need to be calm. Your fears need to be combed. Jesus said, my peace does that. My peace does that. And then he says, I’m going to return to my father. And if you loved me, you would rejoice in that. Why would he say that? Why would Jesus say that Jesus is saying, I’m going to go back to the glory.
I came from again, again, his, his disciples didn’t get it at the time. They didn’t understand it at the time. Where’s he going? What does he have to go back to? What is he talking about? And Jesus says, I’m going back to my father. That means everything. That means that what I came to do has been accomplished.
That means the eternal purpose that was set forth by God has been fulfilled. It’s been done. That’s reason to rejoice. If you know what that means, then you would be rejoicing with me. I’m leaving this world of humiliation and suffering that I came to leaving the, of being with my father. And now I get to back. That’s good for Jesus.
That’s wonderful, but it’s even better for us because of what that meant him accomplishing that eternal purpose of God for us saved us. That’s what saves us. So they didn’t get it at this time. But what I want you to see is that Jesus was saying, take your fear. And I want you to turn it to joy. If you really knew,
if you really knew who I am, if you really knew the peace that you’re going to have, because of what I’ve done, you would rejoice and they didn’t get it, then y’all, but they were going to, they were going to, and when they did, when they would get it, it was going to change everything for them, turning their fear into joy.
Now that brings us to our text. How am I doing on time? That brings us to our text. So let’s go to Matthew 28 and let’s bring this, let’s bring this full circle. And then we’ll end up talking about what this means for us here in this text, Matthew 28, starting really in verse one down through verse 10. This is the day that Emmanuel God with us took on a whole new meaning.
This is the day that everything changed again. Three days before this was the worst day. It was the darkest day. It was the day that Jesus was put through an unlawful trial. The day that he was beaten, that he was that he was humiliated, that he was crucified. He endured the, just the most painful death. The day that he was put into a borrowed tomb,
the day that that tomb was sealed, not even sealed, but it was closed. And then a seal was placed on it so that they would know if it had been moved. Guards were placed by that too, to make sure nobody could get there. Nobody could mess with it. But none of that, none of that was going to keep Jesus in the tomb.
None of that was going to keep him in the tomb. So as we read through this text, as we read through chapter 28, we have a group of women that include Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James and Joseph, or maybe your Bible says Joseph Salaam and Joanna, possibly other women as brother Clark, was putting all that together this morning.
So, so beautifully. We kind of take from the different accounts and put them together. So we know there’s a group of women here besides Mary and Mary. And that really, by the time we get to our text, Mary Magdalene is runoff. She has, she has gone to the disciples already, but here we have a group of women and they come expecting to find a seal tune.
But what they find is a rolled away stone, an empty tomb. They found guards that look like they’re dead. They’re in such a stupor. Like he almost like, they’ve almost like maybe they’ve passed out. Maybe they’re just kind of in a trance. I, I, I don’t know. They appear to be dead. They find an angel. What they don’t find is the body of Jesus.
The body of Jesus is not there. And we read the angels words in verse five. And what were the angels? First four words to the women do not be afraid, do not be afraid for. I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He’s not here for, he is risen. As he said, come see the place where the Lord lay.
Don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid. The angel says Jesus has triumphed. The message is Jesus has victorious. He’s not here. He’s not here. These are reasons to rejoice that the women were terrified. So hang on just a second. I’m jumping ahead. But the angel instructs them in verse seven, go quickly tell the disciples that he’s risen from the dead.
And indeed he is going before you into Galilee there, you will see him. Behold. I have told you, the angel gives them a message to take. Jesus has risen from the dead. He’s going to meet you where he said he was going to meet you. He’s going to meet you in Galilee. Go. That’s where you’ll see him. The women left in verse eight and here are our words.
They left with fear and great joy, fear, and great joy. This word, fear in this text right here again is not reverence. Like it can sometimes mean like reverence respect here in this text. It is from that same worse word, fall boss, but that word is alarm or terror. Or they use this phrase in the Greek lexicon flight panic.
You don’t just want it to disrupt scared. And you just run that’s they were in flight panic, like run that’s. That was their response. They were scared. It was where’s the body what’s happened. What’s what’s going on. Maybe a little bit of worry. What’s happened to our Lord, but also great joy and joy in this context is Cora,
which means delight or gladness. Sometimes it’s it’s, it’s defined in the Greek lexicon as grace recognized. I really liked that, but they were, they were glad why where’s Jesus? What ha. I mean, where he be? He’s not here. What does that mean? And they run. Jesus was not dead. Could that be true? Could that be true?
And the women running and as they run they’re on their way to go tell the disciples, like the angel said, something happens. They’re running is interrupted by face to face encounter with their risen Lord, a face to face moment. And they, they see him and he says to them, rejoice, nigger translation might say, hail might say something different.
The new king, new king James version says rejoice. And when they see their Lord and he says to them, rejoice, they fall at his feet. They take a hold of him. The text says they came, they held him by the feet and they worshiped him. It’s their Lord alive. They’re standing in front of them face to face y’all.
They had seen it. Those women were there. Those women saw everything that happened at the crucifixion. They saw that, that they saw what happened to him through the trial, through the beatings, through the mocking, through all of that, through the hanging on the cross, those women were there. They saw it happen. They thought they saw him taken to the tomb.
But yet here he is standing in front of them, telling them rejoice, rejoice, their savior was alive. Their savior was alive. I cannot imagine this moment. And look, y’all. Jesus says to them one do not be afraid. Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brother and Dakota Galilee. And there they will see me. Let’s hear it.
This is where I’m taking us right here to this moment, because something amazing happened right here in this moment, a new perspective, all of a sudden God with this means so much more God with this. Wasn’t just he’s here. I see him. He’s he’s with us. Yes. We’re eating with him. We’re walking with him. We’re doing things with him.
God, with us, all of a sudden means there’s more after death. There’s something more God with us means more than just here in this life that was transforming for them. And that is transforming for us today. Jesus had been resurrected. He was going to eventually go back soon to his father, but then this understanding, and he’s still going to be here in the hearts of his followers.
God, with us goes beyond death. God goes, God with us goes on. It is not. It is not. It doesn’t come to an end when Jesus died. It, it was this realization that it’s eternal. Emmanuel is Emanuel forever, forever, and ever all this truth is still transforming. It should still be transforming. It changes impulsive fear that we have that’s rooted in uncertainty or worry.
And it changes it to an enduring joy that is planted in the knowledge that Jesus is alive. He’s alive today. And he’s very present in the lives of people who love him and seek him. What does this mean for us? What does this mean for us? Well, you’re in Matthew. So I want you to just kind of look at the end of the chapter here.
Matthew chapter 28 says just right before Jesus is going into heaven. It’s the final commission. It’s his final plea with his disciples, the plea that still calls out to us today and, and spurs us into action. Still. This final, this final commission where Jesus says all authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth go therefore and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the father and of the son and of the holy spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you. And lo I am with you always, even to the end of the age, that means forever eternally with you eternally. That means that Jesus is with us still. Jesus is still here. It’s a personal promise.
I’m with you. I’m with you, with you. I’m with, with you always God with us. Is this ever present, active working knowledge in our lives? It doesn’t go away. I put some scriptures up on the slide for you to remember, just to kind of remind you, Matthew chapter 10, verses 29 and 30. This is that the father knows when one little Sparrow falls to the ground.
He knows everything about you. He knows the number of hairs on your head and Joe chapter 31, verse four, it says, God watches over us. He sees our ways and he numbers our steps. He knows where you are. He knows what you’re doing. He knows what you’re interested in. He knows what you’re struggling with. He knows what your fears are.
He knows what your worries are. And then first Thessalonians, chapter four, verses 16 and 17. He’s coming back. He’s coming back and he’s going to take us home. The joy that comes from that, the joy that comes from anticipating a day, maybe a day while we’re still alive. And we look up and see Jesus in the sky. Maybe that’s what it’ll look like.
Maybe it’ll be years after we’re gone and we’ll be called up from the grave. But a day is coming. Jesus is coming back and he’s going to take his people with him back home. And that, that understanding that promise should replace all doubt, all worry and all fear in our lives. Thousands of years ago, Isaiah prophesied the coming of Emmanuel God with us.
When the time came, Jesus was born of a Virgin in Bethlehem. The prophecy was fulfilled. We see in the lives of people throughout the gospels, throughout the life of Jesus who were changed with God, with us, with Jesus being here, shepherds their fear, turning to joy disciples, fear, turning to joy. The women at the tomb whose fear turned to joy.
And then you and I today, our fear turned to joy. Knowing that God with us is he turned, what is the source of your fear? Go back to that question that I asked at the very beginning, what do you fear? Maybe your life, that the shepherds who are in the field, who maybe feared the unexpected, weren’t expecting that angel to appear.
Maybe you would like them. You fear not knowing what’s coming. What’s around the corner. What is tomorrow going to bring? I don’t know what I’m doing. Maybe you’re like the disciples and you fear trials. You fear storms. Maybe you have uncertainty. Maybe you have doubt. Maybe you’re like the women at the tomb who fear those times when maybe you can’t see Jesus,
maybe you feel distant from him. Maybe you feel like he’s not there. Maybe you have those times in your life where you think where, where, where has God. Right now we have to remember that Emmanuel will always need God with us. We have to remember that Jesus promised his continued presence in our lives. We have to remember that there is transforming power that comes from knowing the good news about Jesus,
how true joy comes from holding onto the hope that one day we’re going to be with Jesus in heaven for eternity. That how desperately all the world needs to hear that we live in a world that is full of fear, full of worry, full of uncertainty, full of doubt, how much people need to hear about the joy that comes through Jesus Christ.
Fear can be turned to joy. When we understand that Jesus paid the price for our sins, that he conquered death and that he is still alive and that he is always with us. Thank you very much.