Matthew 28:2 - And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it.
Have you ever noticed how much sitting the angels do on Jesus' resurrection day? An angel descends from heaven, rolls away the stone, and sits on it. Only then does he start talking to the women. Later on, Mary looks into the tomb to discover two angels, one sitting at the place where Jesus's head used to be, the other where His feet were (John 20:12). Again, they're sitting—apparently in no hurry to go anywhere or do anything. They are "chilling," as my teenage son might say.
What does their sitting mean? When I come in to a room and sit down, it means I'm not going anywhere. I'm not in a hurry. Whatever business I may have can be accomplished right here, while I sit. There's a certain relaxation, a chance to stop and think—and perhaps talk. The rush is over.
I wonder if the angels at Jesus' tomb felt the same way. They had been there, behind the scenes, watching all through Jesus' arrest and torture and crucifixion and death. They had seen His friends take Him down from the cross and place Him in the tomb. They had lived through the glorious moment when He came back to life, breaking the power of death over humanity forever more. Jesus was alive and loose in the world again!
But now all those events were finished. The angels had one message left to deliver—"He is not here, for He has risen!" Now it would be the human f0llowers of Jesus who were in motion, running as fast as they could, spreading the Good News to each other and ultimately to the world. The angels were done. They could sit.
That gift of calm, joyful peace is something God gives to us, too. Oh, we still run. We run to help people in need; we run to deal with emergencies and crises and the problems of every day; we take the Good News to people we love, family and friends and neighbors alike. But there are also times we can sit—and rejoice that Jesus is risen, that evil is conquered, and that God's victory is certain.
THE PRAYER: Thank You, Lord, for the chance to rest and rejoice in the wonders You have done! Amen.
When do you take time to sit, rest and relax?
When do you feel like you're running, and why?
How does Jesus' resurrection give you rest?
Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
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