Afraid, yet…

What really caught my attention from today’s reading (Matthew 28) was how the angel told the women, “Do not be afraid. Go tell the disciples to go to Galilee, where they will see Jesus.” So the women ran off and were on their way to do just that, when Jesus shows up and tells them, “Do not be afraid. Go tell the disciples to go to Galilee, where they will see Me.”

And I wondered, “Why the redundancy?” If Jesus was the right person to tell them, why didn’t He meet them at the tomb and leave the angel out? And they were obeying the angel’s orders, so it’s not like Jesus was correcting them… This would be like if a boss told a manager to have his secretary make 100 copies, which he does, and then on her way to make those 100 copies the boss shows up and says, “Make 100 copies.” Ummm, yeah, already got the message, on my way.

So I tried to imagine every possible reason for the redundancy, for why Jesus would do that. Then I saw it. The angel said, “Do not be afraid,” then told them what to do. And they were going off to do it, but it says that they were “afraid, yet filled with joy.”

I think Jesus showed up because, though they were obeying, and they were filled with joy, they still had some fear. And Jesus doesn’t want us to be afraid at all. That’s why the most common command in the entire Bible is to not fear.

Isn’t that cool? That God cares about more than just our obedience, He cares about us. And He doesn’t want us to live with fear that brings us down and can debilitate us, and will even make an extra appearance to help us not fear. I don’t know about you, but I needed to know that today.