Come and see—go and tell

The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: 'He has risen from the dead. . . .' " Matthew 28:5-7

A preschool student is sitting at a table, holding crayons in both hands. As he colors, he remembers the Bible story from that morning, the account of Noah and the flood. As soon as he finishes his almost perfect rainbow, he calls to his teacher: "Come and see my pretty picture."

A mother takes the pan out of the oven. She has to let it cool for a few minutes, just enough time to set the table. When everything is ready, she calls to her husband in the next room: "Go and tell the kids that it's time for dinner."

Come and see. Go and tell. Those are ordinary phrases that people like you and me use every day. But if you put those same words in a different context, if you insert those two phrases into the greatest story ever told, they become extraordinary.

COME AND SEE

It was early on Sunday morning. The women started out for the tomb before sunrise. Their efforts to give Jesus a proper burial had been cut short by the sunset marking the beginning of the Sabbath. They returned to finish early Sunday morning, but when they approached the entrance they couldn't believe their eyes. The massive stone had been rolled away. They saw an angel standing at the entrance, and this heavenly messenger brought them some amazing news: "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay."

The angel's message was so simple: "Come and see. Come and see that the tomb is empty. Come and see that the Lord has risen. Come and see that death could not keep him. Come and see that the grave could not contain him."

GO AND TELL

But the angel didn't stop there. Right after he invited the women to come and see, he encouraged them to go and tell: "Go quickly and tell his disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' " This news wasn't too good to be true, but it was too good for the women to keep to themselves. They had to share it with others. They had to tell the disciples that Jesus was alive.

Most of us have heard this story before. We hear the good news of Easter every year, and this month we will hear it again. We will hear the angel's invitation to come and see. We will hear the angel's encouragement to go and tell.

As we anticipate that glorious day, as we prepare to celebrate Jesus' victory over sin and death and the devil, I have an idea. Let's take those two simple phrases and switch them around—"Go and tell" others to "come and see."


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