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Encounter with the risen Lord

Rev. Charles Oppong-Poku | October 8, 2023 | Matthew 28:8-10

KEY VERSE:

⁸So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. ⁹Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshipped him. Matthew 28:8-9


MESSAGE:

An encounter with the risen Lord Jesus is a life-transforming experience that brings hope, joy, and a renewed sense of purpose. Matthew 28:8-10 contains a profound account of the women's encounter with Jesus after His resurrection. In verse 8, we see a powerful transformation in the women's emotions. Initially, they were filled with fear, but as they encountered Jesus, their fear turned into great joy. This transformation reminds us that encountering the risen Lord can dispel our fears and anxieties, replacing them with unspeakable joy. When we face life's challenges, knowing that we have a living Saviour who conquered death can bring comfort and assurance. We observe the women's response to their encounter with Jesus. They quickly left to do as the angel had said, but they were stopped along the way by Jesus Himself. They fell on the ground and took hold of His feet. They recognize that He is the Son of God, risen from the dead, and they worship Him. As the angel did, Jesus tells them not to be afraid and to go and tell His brothers to go to Galilee, where they will see Him. They worshipped Him and obeyed His command to go and tell the disciples that He is alive. Their response highlights the natural inclination of a heart touched by the presence of the risen Lord—worship and obedience. When we truly encounter Jesus, our desire to worship Him and obey His teachings deepens. It is a sign of a genuine encounter with the living Christ. Verse 9 mentions that Jesus met the women on their way. This personal encounter demonstrated His intimate knowledge of their needs and His willingness to meet them where they were.


FEET AND HANDS FOR THE MESSAGE:

Our encounter with the risen Lord is deeply personal. He meets us in the midst of our circumstances, doubts, and struggles. Just as He knew the women, He knows us intimately and desires to meet us in our unique situations. An encounter with the risen Lord is a transformational experience. It can turn fear into joy, inspire worship and obedience, and provide a deeply personal connection with Jesus. As we reflect on the women's encounter with the risen Lord, may we yearn for our encounters with Him and be transformed by His presence in our lives. PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, we thank You for the privilege of encountering the risen Lord. May our hearts be filled with joy, our lives marked by worship and obedience, and our faith deepened through personal encounters with Jesus. Help us seek Him daily and share His resurrection's message with the world. In His name, we pray. Amen. THERE SHALL BE SHOWERS OF BLESSING.

SHOWERS! BLESSINGS!! __ DAILY word study: AFRAID The word "afraid" is translated from the following Greek word: "φόβος" (phobos): This is a common Greek word for fear or terror. It can signify a sense of awe, reverence, or dread depending on the context.


The word "phobos" is widely used in the New Testament, and its nuances can range from a healthy reverence to a paralyzing fear:

  • Fear of God: It's often used to describe the awe and reverence due to God (Luke 1:50, Acts 9:31).

  • Fear in the Face of Miracles: In the context of divine interventions or miracles, people often respond with fear (Matthew 14:26, Luke 1:12).

  • Fear in the Presence of Jesus: The disciples and others sometimes experience fear in the direct presence of Jesus, often followed by His reassurance (Matthew 17:6, Luke 5:10)

In Matthew 28:8, the women's fear is a natural response to the supernatural events surrounding Jesus' resurrection. It's a complex mixture of awe, reverence, and likely an element of surprise. From this, we observe the following:

  1. Mixed Emotions: The coexistence of fear and joy in the women's response is intriguing. It captures the tension between the profound nature of the resurrection, which evokes awe and fear, and the joy arising from the realization of Jesus' victory over death.

  2. Reverence in the Presence of the Divine: The fear expressed here isn't a paralyzing terror but a reverential awe. It recognizes the divine and the miraculous nature of the events at the tomb.

  3. Transformation of Fear: The fear of the women is transformed into action—they run to tell the disciples. This transformation suggests that their fear doesn't immobilize them but propels them into a mission.

Contemplating the word "afraid" invites us to explore the intricate relationship between reverence and joy in our encounters with the divine. It challenges us to embrace a fear that leads to awe-inspired action rather than paralyzing anxiety—a fear that acknowledges the greatness of God while finding joy in His redemptive work.


Reflections: How does a healthy fear or awe of God coexist with joy in your spiritual journey, and how might this dynamic influence your actions?




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