It is as we step out

Olwyn Dickson is an NZBMS (now Arotahi) Missionary Kid, pastor, advocate for women and mission, and now retiree, part of Remuera Baptist Church in Auckland. For more about Olwyn’s life, see this article on the Baptist Women New Zealand website.

[Continued from Good Friday.] So, the women who had been with Jesus from Galilee to Calvary to the burial early on the Sunday morning, continue in their ministry to the physical needs of Jesus. This following and caring for the pre-Easter Jesus lead them to be the first to proclaim the Easter message.

At the tomb, they were reminded by two men in shining white clothes of what Jesus had taught them while they were in Galilee. With joy, they remembered what they had been taught and returned to tell the eleven apostles and the others what they had experienced and now believed.

But the women's faith is met by hardness of heart by the men. The apostles thought it was all nonsense, and they would not believe. Luke 24:11.

From the trauma and horror of what they had experienced, they now proclaimed:

Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified and rise on the third day.

It is as we step out, as we do what is at hand, that we have our faith confirmed, and we are assured of His presence.

Hearts full of joy

Helen Geddes mentors alongside Trevor at Darfield Baptist Church, Canterbury, and was formerly a leader at Dunedin City Baptist Church.

Matthew records that as two women approached Jesus' tomb at first light on that first Easter, they were both terrified and astonished. The ground shook violently, the huge stone was rolled away, and a dazzling being appeared and started speaking:

"Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified".

"He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said".

These same women had witnessed the ghastly, unjust execution of Jesus just days before, and now they are given the task of telling his followers the news. The unthinkable had happened. Jesus is alive. They went from utter despair and terror to great joy in a very short time.

Whatever our circumstances, we can also find the living Jesus transforming and changing our lives, and sometimes this can happen in an instant. I have seen this in my own life at times. Our living Lord brings a new perspective, new hope, words of comfort, and life in the toughest things we experience. But best of all, it will happen instantly for all who follow Jesus at the resurrection. Incredible joy is coming when Jesus calls to life all who have followed him.

He is very much alive. Let's celebrate our risen Lord this Easter with hearts full of joy!

Photo: The three crosses erected by a Baptist farmer at Glenroy near Darfield, supplied by Helen Geddes.

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