Thursday, April 21, 2016

An Invitation from a REAL Angel

An Invitation from a REAL Angel
Have you ever received an angelic invitation?
A couple thousand years ago, two women had an amazing encounter with an angel and were extended an invitation of cosmic proportions. They were naturally startled when they saw him, for they weren’t expecting to come across this messenger whose “countenance was like lightning and his clothing as white as snow” (Matt. 28:3 NKJV). 
The sun was just beginning to filter through the trees, when Mary Magdalene and another Mary approached the tomb where Jesus had been buried. I’m sure they gasped when they saw the brilliant figure sitting there on the large stone that had previously closed the tomb of Jesus.
Then the angel spoke, “Don’t be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said” (Matt. 28:6a NKJV).
Can you imagine the thoughts and emotions surging through those women? They had followed Jesus for the past two or three years and were even a part of His inner circle of friends. Just a couple days earlier, their hearts were broken as they witnessed the violent beating and crucifixion of their Lord and friend.
Then the invitation: “Come.”
The angel said, “Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”
Picture this: The two astonished women looked at one another, then rushed into the tomb. They had planned to find there, the dead body of Jesus. Their intention was to anoint His body with the traditional burial spices.
Isn’t it just like God to mess with our plan and tamper with our good intentions?!
As it was sinking in that Jesus had indeed risen from the dead, the angel gave instructions to Mary and Mary: “‘Go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed he is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.’ So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples       word” (Matt. 28:7-8 NKJV).

Matthew 28:5-71 NKJV
Those of us who are followers of Jesus have had a somewhat similar experience as the two Marys— though, for most of us, without the angel. At some point in our lives we received an invitation to come and see that Jesus hung on a cross to bear the punishment for our sins. He died there and was buried in a tomb. Then, by a supernatural work of God Almighty, Jesus rose from the dead. We may have been just as amazed as Mary and Mary when we realized it was really true—just as the Bible says.
So then what? Mary and Mary went out quickly to tell Jesus’ disciples. We too are to follow their example. We’re to go and tell others the incredible Good News about Jesus.
Jesus Himself told His followers to go and tell. Here are his instructions, known as The Great Commission, given before He ascended into Heaven:
“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age’” (Matthew 28:18-20 NIV).

With Resurrection Sunday just a month ago, please consider:
Where are you regarding the angel’s four-step directive?
And where are each of us regarding The Great Commission of Jesus?
Someone’s eternal destination depends on it. Let’s just do it!


©Connie Wohlford 2016

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