When the resurrection occurred, everything changed. It was terrible. Strong, experienced soldiers trembled and ran away.
It began with an earthquake. The last one we had here felt like a truck hitting the side of the house — and that was only about five on the scale. Seven flattens cities. That happened about eight years ago 200 miles from where I live, and the population shifts since have been considerable. Earthquakes, particularly repeated aftershocks, make people fear.
But the angel was more terrifying than the earthquake. His appearance was as lightning, white. It was a daystar. He rolled the stone away. At this point, the soldiers who remained fainted.
And when they saw Christ, they had to be told not to fear.
1After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. 5But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. 6He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 7Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.” 8So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. 10Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
When Christ rose, everything changed. The old guard, the old religion hates this, for Christ is our priest, and there is no regulation or sacrifice left: he has done that, and they are finished.
So they pile regulation on regulation, precept on precept, offense on offense. If they cannot promise salvation they try to promise long life, health, and eternal beauty. All these things are lies.
It is the living Christ who is the truth. Cling to him, though you will fear, if sane.
And do not be like them.