Terrified or Ecstatic

The guards shook with terror.
        —Matthew 28:4

The guards at Jesus’ tomb were prepared to repel any attempt by his disciples to snatch the corpse and spread the rumor that he had risen from the dead. But they were not prepared to take on an angel who showed up and rolled away the stone that sealed the tomb: they “shook with terror . . . and collapsed like dead men.”

“Do not be afraid,” the angel said to the women who had come to the sepulcher to anoint their Lord’s body with spices—“I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here—he is risen.”

The women dashed from the gravesite, “their hearts filled with awe and great joy.”

The same emotions will be in play when he comes again. Some will be terrified; some ecstatic.

When he comes, it will be
horrifying or Hallelujah.

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