Phooey on fear
“Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it … The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and fell into a deep faint. Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here!” – Matthew 28:2b-6a
Holy hit the dust! Talk about a deep faint! These guards must have been REALLY out of it. In an unrecorded scene, they wake to find the stone rolled away from the tomb’s entrance. The body of Jesus, the angel, and the women are gone.
The women also experience fear, but move past it. They meet Jesus face to face.
When I think of the guards, I hear that fear can literally stop us in our tracks. When I think of the women, I hear something entirely different. Fear is something we can move past.
Maybe fear and faith belong together. Somehow.
If this is true, then I have questions. Do we need to experience fear to have faith? Is fear necessary to bring on faith? If we had no fear, would we need faith?
To be honest, these questions perplex me. I don’t know how to answer them, or maybe I don’t want to answer them. But then I think again about the women on the move. They inspire me when it comes to finding Jesus because their actions tell me faith is the absence of (or the control over) fear.
After Jesus meets the women, and what a reunion that must have been, Jesus mentions fear like the angel had done earlier that morning. “Don’t be afraid! Go tell my brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see me there (Matthew 28:10).”
Let’s not be afraid when we are called to tell others of Jesus. If fear had won out for these women and they had also fallen into a deep faint, they may never have met the risen Jesus. Likewise, if fear had won out and they hadn’t shared Jesus’ message to His brothers, then they never would have done what we can do, and that is invite others to meet Jesus.
PRAYER: Phooey on fear. Lord, if we do faint (or fumble), may we not be down for long. Help us see that we can do what these women did, and that is tell others about You. Amen.