What Jesus Did! 'A Great Gift, A New Day' — Matthew 28:1-6

Monday, December 25, 2017

The day after the Sabbath day was the first day of the week. At dawn on the first day, Mary Magdalene and the other woman named Mary went to look at the tomb. At that time there was a very strong earthquake. An angel of the Lord came from the sky. The angel went to the tomb and rolled the stone away from the entrance. Then the angel sat on the stone. The angel was shining very bright like lightning. His clothes were white like snow. The soldiers guarding the tomb were very afraid of the angel. They shook with fear and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, "Don't be afraid. I know that you are looking for Jesus, the one that was killed on the cross. But Jesus is not here. He has risen from death, like he said he would. Come and see the place where his body was."
— Matthew 28:1-6
Illustration of Matthew 28:1-6 — "Don't be afraid."

Key Thought

"Don't be afraid!" Aren't those beautiful words? Remember what it was like when you were a child and a parent would tell you those words, tuck you into bed, pull the covers up, and kiss you goodnight. Wouldn't it be great if you could hear those words again?
The message of Jesus' resurrection is this: "Don't be afraid!"
"Don't be afraid; I've been there and come out on the other side victoriously!"
"Don't be afraid; the sting has been taken out of death and it cannot defeat you!"
"Don't be afraid; your life matters and what you do counts!"
Listen closely and you can hear our Father say, "Don't be afraid; my Son and your older brother Jesus has conquered death. All death can do is bring you home!"
"Don't be afraid; Jesus has risen from the dead just as he said he would!"

Today's Prayer

Almighty and victorious God, thank you for the victory that is mine in Jesus. Please help me to live a victorious life over sin, over selfishness, and over failure. I pray this not so that my life will be easy, but that you be glorified and Jesus may be known as Lord in the hearts of my friends. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

The day after the Sabbath day was the first day of the week. At dawn on the first day, Mary Magdalene and the other woman named Mary went to look at the tomb. At that time there was a very strong earthquake. An angel of the Lord came from the sky. The angel went to the tomb and rolled the stone away from the entrance. Then the angel sat on the stone. The angel was shining very bright like lightning. His clothes were white like snow. The soldiers guarding the tomb were very afraid of the angel. They shook with fear and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, "Don't be afraid. I know that you are looking for Jesus, the one that was killed on the cross. But Jesus is not here. He has risen from death, like he said he would. Come and see the place where his body was. And go quickly and tell his followers. Tell them: 'Jesus has risen from death. He is going into Galilee. He will be there before you. You will see him there.'" Then the angel said, "Now I have told you." So the women left the tomb quickly. They were afraid, but they were also very happy. They ran to tell his followers what happened. While the women were running to tell the followers, Jesus was standing there before them. Jesus said, "Hello!" The women went to Jesus. They held him at his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to the women, "Don't be afraid. Go and tell my brothers (followers) to go to Galilee. They will see me there." The women went to tell the followers. At the same time, some of the soldiers that were guarding the tomb went into the city. They went to tell the leading priests everything that happened. Then the priests met with the older Jewish leaders and made a plan. They paid the soldiers much money {to tell a lie}. They said to the soldiers, "Tell the people that Jesus' followers came during the night and stole the body while you were sleeping. If the governor hears about this, we will satisfy him and save you from trouble." So the soldiers kept the money and obeyed thepriests. And that story is still spread among the Jews even today.

Matthew 28:1-15

Related Scripture Readings

Those children are people with physical bodies. So Jesus himself became like those people and had the same experiences people have. Jesus did this so that, by dying, he could destroy the one who has the power of death. That one is the devil. Jesus became like those people and died so that he could free them. They were like slaves all their lives because of their fear of death. Clearly, it is not angels that Jesus helps. Jesus helps the people who are from Abraham. For this reason Jesus had to be made like us his brothers and sisters in every way. Jesus became like people so that he could be their merciful and faithful high priest in service to God. Then Jesus could bring forgiveness for the people's sins. And now Jesus can help those people who are tempted. Jesus is able to help because he himself suffered and was tempted.

Hebrews 2:14-18

So this {body} that ruins will clothe itself with that which never ruins. And this body that dies will clothe itself with that which never dies. When this happens, then the Scriptures will be made true: "Death is swallowed (defeated) in victory." "Death, where is your victory? Grave, where is your power to hurt?" Death's power to hurt is sin. And the power of sin is the law. But we thank God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:54-57

We should always follow the example of Jesus. Jesus is the leader in our faith. And he makes our faith perfect. He suffered death on the cross. But Jesus accepted the shame of the cross like it was nothing. He did this because of the joy that God put before him. And now he is sitting at the right side of God's throne. Think about Jesus. He was patient while sinful men were doing bad things against him. Think about him, so that you also will be patient and not stop trying.

Hebrews 12:2-3

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.