In fear, yet with great joy, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary left the tomb and ran to tell the news to his disciples.
Suddenly, Jesus met them on the way and said, “Rejoice!” The women approached him, embraced his feet and worshiped him. But Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid! Go and tell my brothers to set out for Galilee; there they will see me.”
As the women proceeded on their way, some of the guards went into the city, and reported to the chief priests all that had happened. The chief priests met with the elders, and decided to give the soldiers a large sum of money, with this order, “Say that his disciples came by night while you were asleep, and stole the body of Jesus. If Pilate comes to know of this, we will explain the situation and keep you out of trouble.” The soldiers accepted the money and did as they were told. This story has circulated among the Jews until this day.
The fight-flight or acute stress response occurs if a stimulus becomes a threat and produces physiological changes, such as fear. Humans and animals react to threats with a general discharge of the sympathetic nervous system in preparation for fighting or fleeing. Adam and Eve fled out of fear and shame after they sinned.
After the crucifixion, the followers of Jesus hid out of fear. They did not know if they are next. Their fear was rattled further by doubt, if he’s truly the Messiah. The guards were fearful too. They could be tried for dereliction of duties.
Jesus’ message as always is, “Do not be afraid!” It was the same message delivered to Bethlehem’s shepherds. “Do not be afraid.” The same message has been heard both in the Old and New Testament. Why? A Child, Son of the Most High, is born for you and with you today. He is the Emmanuel, God-is-with-us. If God is with us who can be against us? “For good times and bad times, I’ll be on your side forever more.” (That’s What Friends Are). God is forever with us at all times and in all places. No need to be afraid anymore!
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