“So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story is still told among the Jews to this day.” (Matthew 28:15)
Upon rising from the dead, the first thing Jesus said to the women he appeared to was: “Do not be afraid…” This is also the message for us today: “Do not be Afraid.” If death could not stop Jesus two thousand years ago, if the strong might of military men the soldiers/guards was not enough to prevent Jesus from rising from the grave, nothing, can stop Jesus from carrying out His good will and plan for us His children.
Do not let Fear make you close your lips from speaking the truth. The guards went into the city to report the incidence to the chief priests. For the first time, it dawned on them that Jesus was truly God as He said, that they had just killed an innocent man fulfilling everything contained in the scriptures about the Messiah. Still, they couldn’t accept this truth, they sought to bury it because they were afraid of losing face with the people.
The chief priests bribed the guards with money and ordered them to lie a very shameful unbelievable lie; that the disciples of Jesus who were unarmed could overpower the armed guards and steal the body of Jesus. Why did these guards agree to do this? They too were afraid of the chief priests, afraid that if they refused the money, they would not have money to feed their families.
You see. Fear paralyses us. We are easily controlled when we are afraid, all we see are negative outcomes. Ask yourself, “what is it that I am so afraid of that is preventing me from living as a child of light, preventing me from saying the truth or preventing me from shamelessly proclaiming Christ?” Peter was so afraid of beating that he denied ever knowing Christ, three times. That same Peter is the person we see in today’s first reading proclaiming the message of Christ boldly in a sermon that converted three thousand souls at once to the Christian Faith.
We have no reason to fear because Jesus is here. He sees, He knows and He is more than able to defend us. Jesus can provide us with money and food with the twinkle of an eye, we don’t have to condescend to evil or compromise our Christian values because of our quest for the things of this world. Trust Jesus.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, give me the courage to face my fears especially those preventing me from proclaiming the Good News. Amen.
(Easter Monday, Bible Study: Acts 2:14-33, Psalm 16 and Matthew 28:8-15.).