by Elaine Pierce
"Either this man was, and is the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God." (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity)
Mary Magdalene and "the other Mary" got it right, didn't they? When they met Jesus as they hurried from the tomb, they were eager to tell the disciples about what the angel had told them. Matthew makes it clear that they recognized their Savior:
"They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him." (v. 9)
Still, it had to be overwhelming to see Jesus alive just three days after they had watched his gruesome crucifixion. Their world had gone dark and bleak. All hope seemed gone. The rabbi they had followed for three years had been silenced. So it seemed.
But death did not have the final word, and neither did the religious establishment. Jesus took on the sins of the world, of you and me, and with his blood he washed us clean as pure snow.
In Matthew 4, we read Satan tempted Jesus. He told him that all he had to do was bow down and worship him, and the world would be his. Jesus rebuked him with these words:
"Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'" (Matthew 4:10) The women worship Jesus. They recognize he is their Lord, their Savior, their King.
On this most holy day, Easter Sunday, we have opportunity to choose. We can reject him as a madman or a liar. Or we can drop to our knees and worship him. Rejoice - he is not here - He has risen!
Dear Lord, so often I fail to bow down and worship you. Today, as we celebrate your resurrection, help me see how much I need you, and how shallow my life is without you. You died for me. Praise God from whom all blessings flow, Amen.