Don't Be Afraid (Easter 2023)

Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented
0 ratings
· 1 view

Easter Service 2023

Share the story about the school shooting in Portsmouth Ohio when we lived there.
We only live about 5 blocks from the elementary school where Logan and Lucas attended.
Shelly was driving home, early that morning and noticed a bunch of police activity.
Police men running down the street with rifles in hand.
When she arrived home she told me about it and some how we found out the schools were on lock down.
There was an active shooting and hostage situation going on at one of the schools.
We had a music teacher that attended our church who was at the boys school.
We called .... she didn’t answer!
We texted ..... and what seemed like hours ..... she finally relied.
The school was on lock down.
She knew where Logan and Lucas was and they was safe.
She informed us that it was a shooting at the Catholic school about two blocks from the boys school. (Right where shelly had seen all the police presence.)
Long story short .... Logan was safe, Lucas was safe, and the situation was resolved.
Side note (A husband of one of the teachers at the Catholic school came into her class and shot her).
When we saw our Children we (Had such fear but yet Joy) in that encounter.
We embraced them and then for the rest of the day we didn’t let them out of our sight.
They got whatever they wanted for diner .... we just couldn’t take our eyes off them.
It’s such a strange feeling to have Fear mixed with Joy (at the same time).
There is a story in scripture where someone was filled with Fear as well as Joy at the same time.
If you have your bibles turn to Matthew 28:1-10
Matthew 28:1–10 (ESV)
Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 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. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. 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. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”
Let’s unpack this story shall we ......
It was just 3 days earlier thatJesus was Crucified on the Cross.
The people we read about heading to the Tomb (to anoint the body) is Mary Magdalene and Mary (the Mother of James and Joseph).
I find it interesting ....
Mary Magdalene was there when Jesus was arrested.
Mary Magdalene was there when He was crucified.
Mary Magdalene was there when his body was taken away.
Mary Magdalene was there when He revealed Himself (Resurrection).
When Jesus was arrested (The Disciples fled)
When he was hanging on the cross (Most of them were not there)
When his Body was taken down (Just a handful was there to witness it)
When he rose from the dead (Mary was one of the first ones to see Him)
Why is this?
Why is Mary the one who is at all of these events?
Could it be .....
… because she was one who had no family
… because she was one who had a bad reputation (She was a prostitute)
… because she was one who was possessed by 7 demons (Jesus delivered her from)
(Mark 16:9 “Now when he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons.”)
(Luke 8:2 “and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out,”)
Could it be that the one who has been so radically transformed is the one who is least likely to tuck their tail and run.
They are the ones who are least likely to forget who they once were and what Christ had done for them.
Who extended a hand to help them climb up out of the pit.
When Jesus rises from the dead who does He find?
Mary Magdalene.
Now look at this story
The two Mary’s along with the guards have an encounter with an “Angle of the Lord.”
The Guards were gripped with FEAR!
Their reaction: the pass out!
The women were gripped with FEAR as well. Matthew doesn’t tell us this ......
Mark tells us in Mark 16:8And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.”
(Same Greek word “phobos”)
The Angel doesn’t speak to the Guards. (They pass out)
The Angel speaks to the women. They .....?
They BOW down. (Luke 24:5 “And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?”)
What’s interesting about this is that FEAR was with the Women (just as was fear with the Guards) but the women also experienced JOY.
Look what Matthew 28:8 “So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.”
They left to go tell the others filled with FEAR and JOY. (Verse 8)
Watch this ....
(Matt. 28:8So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.”)
(Matt. 28:9And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him.”
FEAR didn’t leave them until they SAW HIM!
When you see Jesus, fear has to leaves.
..... and get this .....
FEAR was then replaced with an EMBRACE and WORSHIP!
When something leaves you spiritually, something else will replace it.
When you are delivered from (What ever it may be: Anxiety, depression, anger, FEAR) what you ask is for the Holy Spirit to takes its place.
If you don’t seek a replacement then one will be appointed for you and you don’t want that.
Whatever you command to leave will come back seven fold.
What we have here with Mary is that once they saw Jesus, Fear had to leave and was then replace by the action of an Embrace ..
Embracing Christ (Matt. 28:9And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet .......”)
“took hold”- Greek word (krateo) “to be strong, mighty, to prevail / took hold of” “Gain control of”
As you can imagine the same way Shelly and I grabbed our kids that day of the shooting.
Here is what replaced FEAR .....
Worshipping Christ (worshiped him.)
“worshiped” - Greek word (proskyneo) “the most frequent word rendered “to worship.” It is used of an act of homage or reverence (a) to God”
So, from what we have read and gathered we can say this .....
Any Spiritual infirmities: attacks from the enemy (which in this case: Fear) is removed only when we See, Embrace, and Worship.
When we See Christ
See Him for who He says he truly is .....
John 14:6Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
He is the way the truth and the life.
Fear is removed when .....
When we Embrace Him
It’s not just about knowing of Jesus....... its about knowing Jesus.
When someone embraces someone they are pulling them into their space.
You are letting them into your inner parts of your being.
Not just anyone is allowed in there.
But this is exactly where Christ longs to be.
Embracing is not just a physical thing. It’s a conceptual thing as well.
You must embrace the concept of Christ:
He came to set man free.
How? by paying the ultimate penalty (Death)
He offers everyone GRACE (for free)
He loves all!
He is especially fond of you.
You must embrace this!
Fear is removed when .....
and When we Worship Him and Him alone!
The idea of worship in the days of Jesus looked like this ......
...... to fall upon the knees and touch the ground with the forehead as an expression of profound reverence. or by laying on the ground.
One could say that its the idea of said person knowing who is God and who is not and showing respect to said God.
Who you worship is who is allowed to be Lord in ones life.
Something or someone is going to be LORD in your life!
Fear will leave when these three things are acted upon.
You See Him ...... You embrace Him ...... You then Worship Him.
So I guess my question for us today is this, “Who is living in fear?”
If you are .....
Open your spiritual eyes and see Jesus, then embrace Him, then worship Him.
I believe the guards were afraid! (They passed out)
I believe the women were afraid but were told, “Don’t be afraid.”
There is just something about the voice of God speaking to His people.
Don’t forget what he said “Don’t be afraid.”
You don’t have to live in fear anymore.
Related Media
See more
Related Sermons
See more