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

Saturday, December 25, 2021

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 NLT

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.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Hebrews 2:14-18
  • 1 Corinthians 15:54-57
  • Hebrews 12:2-3


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"It was three months after the shipwreck that we set sail on another ship that had wintered at the island — an Alexandrian ship with the twin gods as...."


Illustration of Matthew 28:1-6 NLT — "Don't be afraid."

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.