“And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye, for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for He is risen, as He said.” Matt. 28:5, 6a.

It is true that Paul determined with himself not to know anything among the churches, but Jesus Christ and Him crucified. However, the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ would not be the topic of so much joy and true gladness were it not for the fact that the crucified Lord was risen the third day. Without the joy of Easter because of the fact of the resurrection, the Cross on that Friday would be an enigma, a terrible symbol of abject failure.

But now we rejoice, for our Lord arose the third day, according to the Scriptures!

For He is risen!

That shall be the glad shout of the Gospel!

And that shout shall be repeated from mouth to mouth, from clime to clime, from people to people, until the whole world shall have heard the glad story of Easter, and time ended. For when the whole world shall have heard that story, then shall be revealed the second coming of that Lord of glory.

For He is risen!

Oh, God’s ways are higher than our ways.

When the Godhead, in the depths of eternity, before the world was, decided and counselled who should hear the first edition of that glorious Gospel, their choice fell on Mary the Magdalene out of whom the Lord cast seven devils.

How differently we would have done that.

I think that the majority would have counselled to gather the body of the Apostles of the Lord for the promulgation of the first edition of Easter. Were they not the representatives of the entire New Testament church?

But Mary, the Magdalene?

Oh yes, unto all eternity she shall be pointed out to you as the happy soul whose eyes first saw the foundation of the new heavens and the new earth: the Lord Jesus Christ in glory!   

Last year we pointed you to that wonderful story in Holy Writ.

At this time we will hear the same Gospel: He is risen! But now as it was given to the women!

Again we are startled.

What? First to a woman who was known for the awful condition that seven devils dwelled in her?

And now we hear that the second edition of Easter will be given to women?

But, Lord, men are the leaders of women, are they not? And what about the government of the church? When shall, when will that body of office bearers hear the story from Thy own mouth?

But the Lord does not answer us with respect to His deeds. No one has heard it. We must guess.

The Lord is risen!

As told to the women.

And yet, it is true to the style of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thus He acted always.

He went to Galilee, not so much to Judea.

He called sinners, not the righteous to repentance.

He chose His sojourn with the humble, the meek, the lowly, the publicans and sinners.

He stretched His holy hands to the little children, taking them as an example for the strong, big men to follow, or to bless them, to bless them….

His ways are higher than our ways.

Fittingly so, for He came to reveal the Father.

And the Father? He chose the lowly, the meek, the little ones, the simple, the ignoble, those which had no power, in order to put to shame all that arises before Him in arrogance, in deep consciousness of their vaunted power, ability, nobility, riches.

He chose that which was not, in order to shame the things that are. . . .

And therefore, I think, the Lord shewed Himself in the second instance to a group of simple women.

Simple women?

Yes, and I can prove it.

They were even simple in their sinning.

Do you realize that we have but a few words of this company of women?

I have in mind the attempt of James and John to assure for themselves the seats on the right and on the left of the Lord when He should arrive in His glory of the Kingdom. And they used a woman for this proud gesture, their mother, the wife of Zebedee.

Do you know any other utterance of these women?

Well, they had come all the way from Galilee, not to talk, to converse, to talk theology with Jesus and their kinsmen, the disciples, but to minister to the wants of the men-folks, especially the Lord. They had gone along on the way to Judea to minister especially to Jesus’ wants. They would wash His clothes, they would prepare the food by the wayside, and they would gently remind Him when it was time to rest. Oh yes, and they would take their little ones to Jesus, so that He would bless them.

Yes, I think they were simple women, and with the word simple, I mean lowly minded, not given to manishness, quietness.

But how these women loved Him!

Note how they wept at the cross, how they prepared spices for His burial, how early they were at the sepulchre! Oh yes, they loved Jesus in their simplicity. And Jesus knew it. And God knew it. And God determined them and their loving hearts from all eternity. And at the same time He determined their reward. They would be chosen as the party of the second part to see the risen Lord.

For He is risen!

Hear, ye women that love and seek Jesus!

He is risen indeed! He is not here.

For He is risen!

Yes, they sought the Lord, but it was the crucified Lord which they sought.

Attend to what the angel tells them: I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified!

But that crucified Jesus is risen from the dead!

In these words I have penned down the contents of the everlasting Gospel.

He was crucified.

That means that He was dead. Later, much later, He said as much to John: I am He that liveth, and was dead!

Yes, He arose from the dead. And that has wonderful significance.

It means for Jesus that He had the victory.

First, over all His enemies. Oh, how they had harassed Him. The whole world was arrayed against Him. Jew, Roman, and Greek reared their heads against Him, and It was the Jew first. Shades of Caiaphas and Judas.

Second, the devil with his devils are conquered. The whole of this foul world of devils were against Him. John on Patmos has given us the whole astounding story in the Revelation of Jesus Christ. There was a great red dragon standing before the woman for four thousand years to devour the little man child as soon as it should be born. But when it was born, God snatched it away from his jaws. Jesus crushed the head of the devil on the accursed tree.

Third, the curse of the law is conquered. That curse clung to Him. It clung to Him so thoroughly and so tenaciously that the Holy Ghost, looking upon Him in the state of His humiliation, called Him a curse. Imagine it if you can: One of Jesus’ names is the curse! But Jesus suffered to be the curse, and He suffered so much and so intensely that all that curse is gone, annihilated. And in its place came blessing. His name is now Blessing of God.

Fourth, He overcame the grave, death and hell. He entered into them, and swallowed them unto victory. We have the attestation of that tremendous truth on every page of Holy Scripture, either in prophecy or as historical fact.

And note that this is the Gospel.

We are world, under the dominion of devils, under the rightful curse of God, because of our sin, and therefore on the way to the grave, death and hell.

But Jesus conquered them all, annihilated them all, never to return.

We are taken out of the world by regeneration and conversion; we are made enemies of the devil because God put enmity between us and him; we are saved from the curse of the law, and ever since such liberation the law is our great friend, our rule and norm of a glorious life of love; and we see through the grave a new way to heaven, we arose from death, and we do not have to go to hell anymore. Instead, we may go to heaven!

Is that not a glorious Gospel?

For He is risen!

He is not here!

For He is risen!

What does that mean?

It means that Jesus is entirely changed now. He is not the same Jesus anymore.

He is completely changed. He is now heavenly, spiritual, glorious, eternal. First He was, even as we are, earthly, flesh and blood, miserable, temporal, and mortal.

Jesus has received a life that is different from any life ever before manifested. He is different from the glorious Adam. His resurrection is different from the resurrection of Lazarus and others.

He is the very Personification of Eternal Life.

And that means that He is ever turning to the Father, approximating that Father unto all eternity.

For He is risen!

That glorious chant has even deeper significance: it means that the Triune God approved of the work He did. It means that God accepted the price He paid for His own. It means that God was even now taking this Holy Child to His bosom. It means that He would receive a Name that is above all that is named in this world and in the world to come.

For He is risen!

It is the chant that shall be repeated from age to age, until time is no more. And then it shall be translated in perfect language, song and music, and the same chant shall make heaven musical forever!

Oh yes, Jesus is risen, is risen indeed!

And the women saw Him!


For He is risen!

Fear not ye!

Oh, that little word ye!

Do not overlook it. It has a charm that shall make your heart sing.

Fear not ye!

I think that when the angel uttered these words, he was looking at the foolish, impossible and wicked watch that ran for their lives towards Jerusalem, where they would utter the lie in committee. The leaders of Israel would place a lie in their mouths, and that he has been repeated.

And when the angel looked at these watchmen running in deathly fear of the heavenly vision, and when the angel saw fear written in every attitude of these simple women, he said unto them: Fear not ye! And you may be very sure that there was a subtle emphasis on that last word. Oh no, do not ye be afraid. You need not be.

Fear not ye, for I know you, dear women. You have made history. You have ministered unto my Lord Jesus Christ during His sojourn on earth: we, angels, have watched all you have done for Jesus, for we also were around about Jesus.

Fear not ye, for we know that you are lovers of Jesus. You have proven your love for Him in many ways. But your very presence here at the tomb is proof of your love. You are seeking Jesus who was crucified. You are seeking a dead Jesus, but you are seeking Jesus nevertheless.

And therefore you need not fear. I have a wonderful story to tell you.

And here it is. He is not here: He is risen from the dead.

Fear not ye!

You have no reason to fear, but on the contrary, you have reason to begin your song of gladness which shall grow longer and longer unto all eternity.

But why?

Here is the answer: their love for Jesus is a proof that God loves them. No, it is not the ground of God’s love for them. How could it ever be? I am no original lover of God, or of His Son! I am an enemy of God by nature, and so were these simple women.

But our burning love in the heart is a proof that God put it there. And the Holy Bible tells us very plainly and very often that He only puts the love of God in His children, and they are those who are elect from all eternity.

These women are elect women, for they loved Jesus. It was a proof for themselves, the angel, and for us.

Oh ye women that seek a body of Jesus, be ye not afraid. You have the love of God in your hearts, and my testimony as an angel of the Lord is destined to make you gladder still. Come now, go to the disciples, and on the way you will be met by Jesus. He will show Himself to you, and then you will sing forever. To see Jesus in glory is to see God the Father.

And to see God is heaven itself.

Fear not ye!

These women were no theologians.

A while ago I spake of our song becoming longer and longer; yes, and also deeper.

Jesus’ resurrection means that we are justified before the great white throne. Our sins were upon Him on Good Friday. But when we see Him next, all our sin and guilt is gone. His glory in the garden f Joseph is proof that God accepted the price of His blood for all my sins and guilt.

Jesus’ resurrection is also the power of a new life.

That means that the glorified, resurrected Lord Jesus will dwell in the hearts and minds of all His elect people. Paul would say later on: I live, but no more I: Jesus liveth in me! That is the life of the new birth, the life from above, the life of the resurrected Lord Jesus.

Jesus’ resurrection is the pledge of our glory in heavenly places. If my Head is risen to be with God forever more, I, as His body with all God’s people, cannot remain behind. Listen to Jesus Himself: where I am you will be also!

O glorious Easter!