Today is the day we celebrate the empty tomb, where Jesus gave us hope in salvation in our risen Savior who overcame sin and death for us (Matt. 28:1-10). “The angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; He has risen, just as He said. Come and see the place where He lay.’” (Matt. 28:5-6) They hurried away from the tomb “afraid yet filled with joy” to go tell the disciples. And Jesus met them — where they were, afraid and confused, but walking in the steps the Lord gave them through His angel. “Suddenly Jesus met them. ‘Greetings,’ He said. They came to Him, clasped His feet and worshiped Him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.’” (Matt 28:9-10)
We are told over 120 times in the Bible not to fear. Fear leads to worry and anxiety, and worry to fear. But Scripture tells us, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Tim. 1:7) The Lord has not given you this obsession to worry, this fear, this terror… somebody else has: the devil. He would like nothing more than to distract you from God and who God wants you to be. Recognizing that obsessive worry is a spiritual battle makes all the difference. First, it reminds you that you won’t win the war on worry in your own strength. As a believer, you have Christ. He never worries, and He asks you to bring all your worries to Him. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6-7)
Jesus taught us to pray “for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him” (Matt. 6:5-18). He taught us to store up treasures in heaven instead of here on earth (Matt. 6:19-24) so that we are putting our focus on the Lord and His will because we “cannot serve both God and money”. He taught us to not worry (Matt:6-25-34) reminding us that God feeds the birds of the air and that we are more valuable to Him than they are, but instead to “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to [us] as well”.
Jesus taught us not to judge others, but instead to look at our own sin and repent (Matt. 7:1-6). He taught us to seek Him, come to Him and ask for what we need, and in everything do to others as we want done to us (Matt. 7:7-12). He taught us that He is the narrow gate that leads to life (Matt. 7:13-14). He taught us to watch out for false prophets and that we should watch for the fruit that is produced from others, and we should look at the fruits our own lives are harvesting (Matt. 7:15-23). And then He cautioned us to apply His teaching to our lives (Matt. 7:24-27): “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” (v 24) The rains will come, the streams will rise, and the winds will blow and beat against us. If we build our lives on Him, we will weather the storms in His strength. But if we are foolish and do not build our lives in Him, we will have peril and won’t be able to weather the storms.
Today, as we celebrate our risen Savior, let’s give Him thanks that we can “Trust in the Lord with all [our] hearts and lean not on [our] own understanding; and in all [our] ways submit to Him, and He will make [our] paths straight” (Prov. 3:5-6). And because of all He has done for us, we have no need to worry or to have a spirit of fear. “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Ps. 27:1)