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Daily Devotional | God with us: The Gospel of Matthew | Man fishing with a net. Daily Devotional | God with us: The Gospel of Matthew | Man fishing with a net.

Daily Devotional | His Presence at the Resurrection

What if you suddenly received a message from a loved one you thought you would never see again? How would you react? Certainly, their words would hit you with the rush of good news, and you would probably feel great joy. This captures a tiny fragment of what the women and disciples must have felt in Matthew 28 when they experienced the powerful presence of their risen Lord.

This month we have been focusing on the presence of God theme in the Gospel of Matthew. But in an ironic twist the theme of the Lord’s presence in this passage is highlighted by His absence (v. 26)! The absence of Jesus’ body from the grave is not only a powerful demonstration of the Lord’s victory over sin and death but is also a valuable lesson about His presence.

Mary Magdalene and the other Mary visited Jesus’ tomb at dawn (v. 1). To their shock, an angel of the Lord was present, having rolled back the stone (v. 2). It was such a shocking site that all those present, including not just the women but also trained Roman guards, quivered in fear (vv. 4–5).

Next, the angel gave the women a message that changed everything: “He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay” (v. 6). We can be sure that emotions collided in these women’s hearts. Jesus, whom they loved and thought they had lost, was alive! Overwhelmed with both fear and great joy, they ran to deliver the good news to the disciples (v. 8). As they were running away from the tomb it was then that the Lord personally appeared to them, and they clasped His feet and worshiped Him (v. 9).

The resurrection of Jesus is a powerful reminder of God’s presence. The Lord is with us, and His presence is our ultimate source of hope, joy, and life!

Go Deeper

What did the women expect to find during their visit to the tomb? What did they discover instead? How does this scene bolster your own faith?

Pray with Us: How wonderful, Lord, that Your empty grave is another manifestation of Your presence with us! We rejoice at Your victory over sin and death and eagerly await Your return. Keep us faithful we pray!

BY James Coakley

Dr. Jim Coakleyis professor of Bible at Moody Bible Institute. He earned his BA in Pastoral Studies from Calvary Bible College, his M.Div. and Th.M. in Old Testament from Grace Theological Seminary, and his doctorate from Covenant Theological Seminary. Jim is the author of 14 Fresh Ways to Enjoy the Bible (Moody Publishers). He and his wife, Gayle, live in the western suburbs of Chicago and have two adult children and three grandchildren. 

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