After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. … Suddenly Jesus met them “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
Matthew 28:1, 9-10
A New Relationship
It was “at dawn on the first day of the week”–the day Jesus rose from the dead. When Jesus last saw many of his disciples, they were falling asleep while he was going through his darkest moments alone. They were running away in fear as he was being arrested. Peter was denying that he even knew Jesus as Jesus was in a courtroom being spit upon and mocked. Yes, the last time Jesus saw his disciples, they were being anything but brotherly.
Despite all the disciples’ failures, Jesus choose to call them something he had never called them before. Previously Jesus had called the disciples his “children”. He had even called them his “friends”. However, this is the first time Jesus calls them “brothers”.
Easter meant something new for Jesus’ disciples. Easter meant that they were renewed with Jesus’ forgiveness and they had a new relationship with him. Easter meant that Jesus would not judge the disciples by what they had done but by the sacrifice he made for them.
Do you feel that you have failed God? Do you fear that you have let him down? Do you worry that your sins separate you from God? Easter means we do not have to fear God’s anger. Because Jesus defeated sin and death and rose from the grave, we are not judged by what we have done but by what Jesus has done for us. Trusting in him as our Savior, Jesus calls us his brothers and sisters—not because we deserve it but because he dearly loves us. Jesus renews us with his forgiveness and gives us a new relationship with him.
Your risen Savior calls you his brother; he calls you his sister.
Father, we give you praise and glory for raising your Son from the grave. We give you thanks that through his death and resurrection our Savior Jesus now calls us brothers and sisters. Amen.