Afraid yet filled with joy!

“So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.” (Matthew 28 v 8)

The soldiers had shook with fear and fell to the ground like they were dead. These women were also afraid but there was a difference. Joy had filled their hearts. At His birth there was fear and joy, “An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” (Luke 2: 9-10) Fear and joy at His birth and here at His resurrection. Whether at Christmas or Easter are we afraid yet filled with joy? Or have we become mild, quiet, respectable Christians? Has the Good News become just news? Where is the wonder?
God is frightening as thick clouds of darkness; He is a consuming fire; He causes the earth to shake by His lightning strikes; He forces mountains to shrink like burning wax (Psalm 97). Bear this in mind as you worship Him today. Or have we lost something?
Missionaries were showing the ‘Jesus’ film to a tribe in East Asia who had never heard of Him and had never seen a film.
Imagine again how it felt to see this good man, Jesus, who healed the sick and was adored by children, held without trial and beaten by jeering soldiers. Then came the crucifixion. The people could not hold back. They began to weep and wail with such loud grief that the film had to be stopped. The missionaries tried to calm them, explaining that the story wasn’t over; there was more. Then came the resurrection. Pandemonium broke out this time, but for a different reason. The gathering had spontaneously erupted into a party. The noise now was of jubilation, and it was deafening. The people were dancing and slapping each other on the back.
The missionary had to shut off the projector; this time he didn’t tell them to calm down and wait for what was next. All that was supposed to happen—in the story and in their lives—was happening.
(Ben Patterson, “Resurrection and Pandemonium,”

May our hearts be filled with fear and joy as we go tell people of the life of God through Jesus!

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