Fear or Amazement

My son often tries to scare me. He walks like a cat. I can never hear him even on floors that creak. The latest was on this past weekend. I had made a run to the store to pick up a few items. I was taking items out of the van door. Suddenly, I felt someone pressed against me as if I was about to be mugged or robbed. I was about to make a defensive response, then, I heard his voice and laughter. At that moment, Fear or Amazement were thoughts that ran across my mind. The human mind thinks quickly. I had just formulated a plan to respond to what appeared to be an unfriendly person in my space. Once I heard my son’s voice, I was amazed at his stealth-like ability to approach me.

There are times in life when we will be faced with Fear or Amazement. The two Maries in the passage below experienced that as they sought to anoint Jesus in the tomb. Let’s see it.

Mark 16

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”

But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”

Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.

The Greek word for alarm in verses 5 and 6 is ekthambeō (ek-thäm-be’-ō). It means to throw into terror or amazement; to alarm thoroughly, to terrify. Just as the sound of my son’s voice lowered my level of concern, the angel tells Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome “Don’t be alarmed,” In those moments of  Fear or Amazement, we all need a settling or calming agent. For those ladies, it was the angel. It was the Words of God through the angel that provided comfort from Fear or Amazement For the follower of Jesus in this day, it is the Word of God and the Holy Spirit who comforts us. Listen to what Paul tells Timothy about comfort in 2 Corinthians 1

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

God does not want us to be controlled by Fear or Amazement in circumstances that alarm us. He wants us to TRUST in Him. He wants us to seek comfort in Him because that situation, if we are not killed by it, is designed to conform us to the likeness of Christ. That was Christ’s goal for the disciples including Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome. Jesus confirmed the prophecy that He would rise after three days which is what we should truly experience Fear or Amazement over. Nevertheless, God wants us to TRUST Him in every circumstance of our lives. They are designed to bring about His will, His kingdom come, if you will, in our lives.

Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome heard and heeded the voice of the angel. For believers, do you hear and heed the voice of God through the Holy Spirit? If not, ask God to open your ears, so that you might hear Him and respond to Him.







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