“But the angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, as He said. Come, see the place where He lay.’” —Matthew 28:5-6
J.R.R Tolkien once described the Resurrection as “the greatest ‘eucatastrophe’ possible in the greatest Fairy Story.” I like this phrase because it reminds us that Jesus’s victory is the happy ending of God’s great plan: from the Garden of Eden, to the wilderness of Canaan, to Roman-occupied Judea, God’s people awaited the moment when Love would triumph over brokenness and death. Abraham and David lived by faith that God would bring about the promised redemption (Hebrews 11:13); we have the gift of knowing those promises are brought to fullness in Christ. And today, we get to celebrate that great ‘eucatastrophe,’ the very moment God won us back from our sin for good!
“Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go and tell My brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.’” —Matthew 28:10
How do we celebrate the greatest Good News? Christ Himself appeared to the women who first witnessed the empty tomb and gave them instructions. First, He told them to not be afraid. The Resurrection makes fear obsolete; it was the source of Abraham and David’s hope long before Christ came, and it’s the same foundation of Christian hope today. To find the joy of the Gospel, we first need to believe we really have nothing left to fear. “Take heart,” Jesus once said to His disciples. “I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
The second instruction Christ gives is to “go and tell.” Filled with the joy of God’s great ‘eucatastrophe,’ the women ran to testify to others that they had seen the risen Lord. This is the essence of the Great Commission: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). As Christians, we know how God’s ‘fairy story’ ends: we know that God loves us because of what Christ accomplished for us, and so we know that we will see Him again. Having found the Good News that can banish all fear, give us an everlasting hope and demonstrate the reality of Divine Love, how could we keep it to ourselves? He is risen! Hallelujah!
Father, let us rediscover the joy of the Gospel today. We praise You for the great victory Christ won on our behalf. Let the knowledge of Your love fill us with hope, and let us boldly proclaim Christ’s resurrection to those around us. In the risen Lord’s name we pray, amen.
Passage for Further Reading:
Matthew 28, Genesis 3:15, Revelation 22:1-7
About the Author:
Madeleine Roberts is a third-year at UChicago and Managing Editor of Cana.
Thanks for reading along with us this Lent! HE IS RISEN!