Let us pray: Dear Savior, what a glorious day this was and is for you, and for each of us! For today we celebrate Your eternal victory, the victory You won on the cross, over sin, Satan, death and hell. Today You have calmed our fears, healed our wounded hearts, and replaced our worry and doubt with confidence and joy! Lord, accept our thanks and praise! Amen
GRACE MERCY AND PEACE ARE YOURS FROM OUR GLORIOUS RISEN LORD CHRIST!
TEXT: Mark 16: 1-8
Fellow Redeemed In the Risen Savior:
By now all of you know that traditional Easter greeting spoken by Christians to each other: “He is risen! He is risen, indeed!” Perhaps you’ve never thought about it, but in reality you know more than those three women who went to Christ’s tomb on Easter morning. I can say that, because I was there. For I greeted them with the words: “He has risen!” But they didn’t know, yet, how to respond. Ah, but they learned, they learned….
I know this because as I mentioned I was there. You see, my name is “Shahar” and along with the other angel whom you know by the name: Gabriel, I was there. I was the one chosen to announce the Savior’s resurrection to world! Yes, we were, we are, the angels of whom it is said:
ANGELS IN WHITE TELL THE STORY
I was truly honored that day to be chosen by God to go with Gabriel. You all know about Gabriel. He is an archangel, yes there are ranks of angels in heaven. His Hebrew name literally means: “hero of God.” It was he who was chosen to tell John the Baptist’s father of his son’s impending birth. It was he who spoke to the Virgin Mary and told her about her Son, Jesus Christ. My Hebrew name (yes, we all have names since we’re individual spirit beings who were created by God to serve Him and His people, you) my Hebrew name means: “to break forth, or the dawning of morning light.” I never exactly knew why God gave me that name—until that first Easter morning. But then it all became quite apparent. For as the morning dawned and the women appeared, I, Shahar, broke the glorious news to them that: Christ was risen! You may wonder at all this. You may think that we angels know everything about God and His plan for saving souls. But, that’s not exactly true. God reveals to us only what we need to know at a particular time. Peter hints at this fact when in his 1st epistle he talks about the prophets foretelling Christ’s coming, birth, and death so long ago. And then Peter adds: “Even angels long to look into these things.” Indeed we do! And when God shows us by revealing His unending love for you, we cheer all the more. I can tell you that the cheers from heaven on Easter morning shook its very foundation stones! It even surpassed in volume the angel choir that sang at Jesus’ birth!
Mark recounts to you of one angel at the tomb. In reality there were two, as Luke says, Gabriel and I. (Mark chose not to emphasize that fact, but instead focused on my message.) Matthew gives you even more information about what occurred before Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, the mother of James and John, along with Salome, came to the tomb that morning. Remember how Pilate put a bunch of soldiers there to guard the tomb? He wanted to prevent Christ’s followers from snatching His body. Those men had seen battle. They were a tough, rough bunch. But when Gabriel and I came and rolled back the stone and sat on it, “the guards were so afraid of me that they shook and became like dead men.” Soon thereafter they ran away, went to the city, reported the story to their bosses, and Christ’s enemies dreamed up that ridiculous tale about the theft of His body.—Ah, the sinful heart, the foolish heart of you humans! You long to grasp Godly truths, but when God gives you physical proof of His love and triumphs you reject them! How sad…How dare you humans so dishonor my Lord and your Savior!
Gabriel and I are not confined, like you are, by the human form we sometimes take on. We knew they were coming before we could physically see them. We heard them wondering aloud: “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” We both smiled at that, I can tell you! And then, when they arrived and saw it was rolled back, their faces showed their amazement. Again we smiled.—God’s ways always amaze you humans, even more than they do us angels.
They stooped down to enter the crypt, saw me shining like lightening ( recall that God is light, in Him dwells on darkness at all and we angels reflect that light) and their faces changed to sudden alarm. I, Shahar, was given the glorious task comforting them. I said: “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.”
Yes, Jesus had already been to heaven to celebrate His Good Friday victory over Satan. Ah, what a party that was! And in a blink of an eye He had come back to earth, picked up His body once again, restored it to life, descended to hell to announce to Satan and his minions that they lost and He had won, and now He was waiting to comfort certain followers personally just outside in the garden-like cemetery area. Yes, Jesus kept His word to them. He had told them for three years what would happen. He had prophesied it for thousands of years in the Old Testament. And now was the crowning moment. Now the Truth would set their souls free!
Christ was concerned about Peter and the rest of His disciples. He knew how hard they had taken His death. He knew their faith was on very shaky ground—just like yours is sometimes. So, He had bidden me, Shahar, to add a few more words. (Remember, we do only what God tells us to do.) So I also said, “But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’” Yes, our Lord never, ever, forgets even one of His sheep.
Well, the women then left the tomb trembling and bewildered. They didn’t even tell anyone immediately what they had seen and heard, because they were so afraid. For them the message: “The Lord is risen!” was just too good to be true. For them it meant freedom from doubt, guilt, fear, and death. For them God’s love in Christ was just too profound, too deep to take in at that instant. But later, later they did. And they are all in heaven today where we still talk about it, discuss that fateful morning, and rejoice over it all.
I, Shahar, have come to you today to tell you that: Angels in White Tell TheStory! For the truth of Easter, proof of life after death, proof of God’s love for you, proof of Christ’s victorious sacrifice for your sins, proof of His divinity—is the greatest story that will ever be told. Ah, but it is more than just a story, isn’t it? It is your reality. It becomes your reality when you embrace my Lord Christ in humble faith and confidence. Now you know the truth behind that age-old Easter greeting: “The Lord is risen! He is risen, indeed!” Good-bye for now…Because now you know the Truth that has set you free! Amen