Early morning upon waking is when I tend to entertain fears. My antidote? I usually summon up courage and perspective through prayer and the Bible verses I know. We live in a world increasingly in need of antidotes for fear. Wars and conflicts, death, disease, sin and violence, rapid changes in technology and the challenges of modern-day living point to some of the fear-inducing realities, which can fill our thoughts and even assault our faith in Jesus Christ.
The ultimate antidote to all fear is belief in the resurrection. As Paul states in 1 Corinthians 15:17, if Christ didn’t rise from the dead, our faith is futile and we are still dead in our sins. (1 Cor 15:17)
Our Luke passage begins before dawn. Jesus has been crucified and his followers have had an assault on their faith. Some women had prepared spices to anoint Jesus’ body but they don’t find the body at the tomb. Perplexed and frightened, they are informed that Jesus has risen from the dead, just as he’d told them would happen. They tell the others, who unfortunately, don’t believe this ‘nonsense’. Peter, however, runs to find out for himself.
We react in similar ways to what seems non-sensical truth: perplexed, fearful, dismissive, joyful, hopeful and running to investigate. What’s your response to the resurrection truth?
Soon it became increasingly clear that the women’s report of an empty tomb was not the imaginings of wishful-thinking, grief-stricken women. It was true! Jesus had indeed risen from the dead. For Christians, believing this truth has always been an antidote for fear.
‘Don’t be afraid,’ they were told. ‘He has risen!’
Like Peter, in our disappointments and in being disappointing (he’d denied he ever knew Jesus!), we must run to where Jesus can be found. How do we find Him? By believing.
Recently, after hearing someone address God as ‘Living God’ in their prayers, I started doing so and it has been helping me focus on the resurrection.
How does believing in the resurrection affect how I live? I think it reassures me of God’s love and that my sins are forgiven.
The song, ‘God Sent His Son’ with the chorus line ‘Because He lives…’ states that believing the truth of the resurrection of Jesus Christ leads to many results in our lives. I can face tomorrow, all fear is gone and life is worth the living because I know He holds the future.