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Matthew 28:1-10 Repeated twice, the ultimate “Don’t be afraid”

On Resurrection Sunday, the women who went to Jesus’ tomb twice heard the words we’ve read several times this week. First the angel at the tomb, and then Jesus himself, told them, “Don’t be afraid.” Mind you, the same people who put Jesus to death on Friday were still in power on Sunday. The same Roman soldiers who nailed Jesus to the cross were patrolling the streets of Jerusalem that day. And yet everything had changed, and they did not need to be afraid. Jesus was alive—and his followers were safe forever.

  • The apostle Paul wrote to a group of his Christian friends from a dank Roman prison cell, “Don’t be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks” (Philippians 4:6). Would such a sentiment be possible without Jesus’ repeated words “Don’t be afraid”? In what ways can you more fully incorporate Jesus’ repeated counsel into your day-to-day life (e.g. put Jesus’ words on your bathroom mirror, dashboard, desk or computer screen, use them as a breath prayer)? Cultivate an awareness of the events or inner messages that trigger your fears. As you see fear rising to shape your life, practice meeting it with those simple yet powerful words: “Don’t be afraid.”


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