Resurrection Day, March 31

Resurrection Day, March 31 

Scripture: Matthew 28

28 Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb.

Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it. His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint.

Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you.”

The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to give the disciples the angel’s message. And as they went, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they ran to him, grasped his feet, and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t be afraid! Go tell my brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see me there.”

11 As the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and told the leading priests what had happened. 12 A meeting with the elders was called, and they decided to give the soldiers a large bribe. 13 They told the soldiers, “You must say, ‘Jesus’ disciples came during the night while we were sleeping, and they stole his body.’ 14 If the governor hears about it, we’ll stand up for you so you won’t get in trouble.” 15 So the guards accepted the bribe and said what they were told to say. Their story spread widely among the Jews, and they still tell it today.

16 Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him—but some of them doubted!

18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Some thoughts:

These are Jesus’ words to you and to me as he returned to heaven. “As you are going [the sense of “go”] make disciples of all the nations [and people around you], baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” [Until I return.]

Music: “Messiah” Voces8


Lord God of all that was, is, and will ever be, the moment we have longed for has come: the night of our desires is here. What greater occupation could there be than for us to proclaim the power of your Resurrection! This was the night when you shattered the gates of hell and mortally destroyed the devil, and then you took up the victory banner of heaven. This was the night when you set us among the stars. When your mother Mary gave birth to you, she was overwhelmed with joy at your beauty. Now we are overwhelmed with joy at your power. The blood which flowed from your side has washed away our sins forever. Your body rising from the tomb has promised us eternal life. Eternal are the blessings which in your love you have poured upon us.

To you Lord Jesus Christ we give our deepest praise, love, and gratitude. These things we pray through Jesus, who with you and the Holy Spirit, reign one God for now and forever. Amen.

          —from Guideposts Prayers for Easter, p.66, adapted Daniel Sharp

Thank you all for this journey through the Lenten season concluding with the Resurrection, but remember, there is so much more. It didn’t all end there. Forty days later Jesus ascended to his Father in heaven in a glorified physical body where he sits at his Father’s right hand interceding on our behalf. At a time known only to the Father, Jesus will return to bring to final completion and restoration of the entire created order. He will establish his Kingdom and he will reign forever and ever . . . and we’ll be there!

The daily devotional book: Advent through Ashes continues to make great progress. We’ll keep you informed. At this point it looks like it will be in 4 volumes and cover each day of the year and be flexible enough to adjust whenever the various seasons start!

Dr. Daniel Sharp

©2024 Daniel Sharp