The women left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and said, "Greetings!" And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshipped him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me." While they were going, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests everything that had happened. After the priests had assembled with the elders, they devised a plan to give a large sum of money to the soldiers, telling them, "You must say, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ If this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble." So they took the money and did as they were directed.
Salt of the Sound sing, ‘It is well’. Can you make these your own words today?
Today’s reading is from the Gospel of Matthew.
This week we hear about five occasions on which Jesus appeared to his friends after they had seen him brutally killed. Here it’s two women, Mary Magdalene and another woman called Mary, who suddenly meet him as they leave the empty tomb. Can you sense what it would be like for them, as they hear his first word: “Greetings!”
Jesus goes on to say “Do not be afraid.” If he says those same words to you now, what is it that comes to mind? What does it feel like, when Jesus tells you to have no fear?
The priest and the elders can’t, or won’t, believe reports of Jesus’ resurrection. Is there any part of you that echoes their unbelief? If so, take a moment to offer that part of you to God.
As you listen again, notice especially the contrast between the feelings of the women, and of the priests and elders here.
This risen Christ is the Jesus who is still with his people, with you, today. Speak to him now about whatever you have noticed in these minutes of prayer.