REWARD OF AN ANTICIPATED FAITH
“After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. 2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. 5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” 8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly, Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet, and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there, they will see me.” (Matthew 28:1—10)
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were rewarded handsomely for their sense of anticipated faith. They went to look at the tomb. They have heard Jesus teach them that on the third day, he will rise again when he is alive. How important it is to listen to the words of Jesus and built in me a sense of anticipated faith. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, being afraid upon fear and doubts upon doubts, yet went to look at the tomb.
They encountered a violent earthquake while heading to the tomb. They met an angel from heaven. They saw the angel going to the tomb. They saw the stone rolled back, and the angel sat on it. They saw the appearance of angel-like lightning and clothes white as snow. They saw the tomb guards afraid of the angel, shook, and became like dead men. They heard the angel’s voice speak to them; DON’T BE AFRAID.
The two women went with a genuine intention to see if Jesus did rise from the dead. The rest of the disciples missed out on this encounter because they allowed fear and unbelief to conquer their minds, even for a short time. I wonder how often I missed the miraculous fulfilled before my eyes because of my doubts and fear. Sometimes the miraculous has a little window of opportunity to see Jesus in action.
The women did not WAIT for things to happen; they went to where the action was going to happen. They held on to the hope of Jesus’ words, saying I would rise again on the third day. That is the kind of faith that anticipates things before they happen, not because they are hoping for something to happen but because they have heard Jesus’ words.
The two women SAW the actions of Heaven. They HEARD the voices of Heaven. Not only did they see and hear the power of Jesus’ words, but Jesus himself also appeared to them and greeted them on the first day of the resurrection. It was powerful and rewarding that they held on to Jesus’ words and went to the tomb.
I am reminded today not to miss out on seeing Jesus’ words in action because of my fear and unbelief. The angel knew that the women were looking for Jesus. The good question is, HOW OFTEN DO I SET MY HEART TO LOOK FOR JESUS? The angel also knew that the women feared the events of a few days earlier. The angel said, DON’T BE AFRAID; Jesus is not here; he has risen. That is what the women wanted to hear. They wanted to hear that JESUS IS NOT HERE; HE HAS RISEN.
What a reward! What a message of hope. They did not only hear what they were seeking but were blessed with all the actions of heaven, bringing forth the good news. They were rewarded for having faith that anticipates God’s power in action. I am reminded of these words from the writer of Hebrews 11:6; And without faith, it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Faith is an action word. God is pleased with those who come to him believing that he exists and rewards those who earnestly or diligently seek him. Faith means believing earnestly and diligently, seeking God above all the noise and fears I face.
I want to have the faith these two women had when they, above all the fears, doubt, unbelief, and the possibility of being ridiculed, pressed on to see the tomb. I want to press on beyond fear and have an earnest and diligent heart to see the things of Jesus. I look forward to the move of God in the next generation, whether people see it or not.
I look forward to seeing God in action, even during these difficult times. I want to have the two Mary’s experiences of being rewarded for seeing what other disciples did not see.
Jesus, I want to see you in action in a way I have never seen before. I pray that you continue to teach me to press on and to seek you earnestly and diligently above all else. Please show me more of your resurrection power that defies all my unbelief. Teach me to rise above and beyond my doubts to see your glory in action. Thank you for reminding me of the reward of an anticipated faith to believe in you even when others doubt and are fearful. I want to see the display of your power in a way I have never seen before. Amen!