The Remedy to Fear – by Pastor Chandler
“But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher)” (John 20:11-16).
Fear. Stomach-turning, paralyzing, heart-pounding, dreaded, breath-taking, joy-robbing, hope-shadowing, faith-threatening fear. We’ve all experienced fear.
Click, click, click. The sound resounds in your ear as you hang tight to the lap bar holding you to your seat. “How can this be safe?” you questioned before you got on. You’ve had your eyes shut the whole way up, but, in a daring display, you open your eyes to see hundreds of feet down. Sudden and violent fear strikes in your heart. The roller coaster reaches its apex and drops you to the mercy of the twists, turns, and flips that will bring you, hopefully, safely to the ground. It can be a fearful time.
The morning starts wonderfully with calm waters, a beautiful sunrise, and the promise of a peaceful day. The boat you’re floating on gently moves with the lapping waves. Quite suddenly, though, the water begins to toss and the waves begin to roll. Out of nowhere, clouds have raced overhead bringing boisterous thunder, blinding flashes of lighting, and howling winds. The Coast Guard beams on the radio warning all small crafts, just like yours, to get off the water. You look to the coast and land is nearly out of sight. Fear leaves your knees buckling and your mind wondering, “Will we make it?”
The news isn’t good. You hoped for a favorable report, but your mother’s face is dark with gloom. The doctor has solemnly delivered the words that the whole family dreaded. Tears flow. If you could collect them all, you might fill the sea. Fear is overcoming you. What will you do without mom?
Mary Magdalene knew, as well as any of us and more so than most of us, the fear that I have been writing about. She knew that earth-shattering fear that I’ve explained. Her Lord, her friend, her brother, her teacher, her shepherd had been gruesomely murdered. Nails had held him to a splintered tree while His precious blood pooled on the earth. Darkness had covered the earth and shrouded her heart as His side was pierced. Hope ran from her soul as her King was pulled from the cursed cross and as her Jesus was laid behind a heavy stone. Now, on Sunday morning, she longed to care for His lifeless body. But this simple act, an effort to console her soul, was not afforded to her. His body was gone. Fear upon fear upon fear. “Where is my Lord? Where is his body?” she questioned has her lungs threatened to stop expanding and her heart ached in her chest.
Her fear was so great that Mary didn’t blink when two angels wearing gleaming light appeared speaking to her. She was blinded by fear. “Where is my LORD! Where have the taken Him?!”
The fear was so tangible in her weeping soul and her tears so heavy in her eyes, that she did not even recognize her Lord as he appeared to her. Jesus asked, “Why are you weeping? Why are you afraid?” Her Savior was speaking to her, but she thought it was the gardener.
Oh, the tricks that fear can play on us. Fear can rob rationale. Fear can destroy reason. Fear can cause amnesia. Fear can conquer your soul. The only remedy for fear, the only victory over fear, the only warrior strong enough to defeat fear is Jesus Christ.
Notice, Mary was ultimately given over to fear until that very moment when the Lord of lords, the King of kings, the Savior of the Universe, the Maker of the earth, the Good Shepherd of our souls called her name. “Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!”
When Christ called Mary’s name, He called Mary from all her fear. He vanquished that foe in an instant when He spoke. Like the flood waters returning to the boundaries of their banks, like waves calming in a moment, Mary’s fear ran from the voice of God.
What fear do you struggle with today? Are you fearful that your children will turn from God? Are you afraid that your health will fail? Are you afraid you won’t make enough? Are you afraid that your salvation isn’t secure?
Quiet. Listen. Do you hear? Jesus Christ is calling your name. He’s calling you out of darkness. He whispers, “I am alive. I am your victory. I am your salvation. I am your hope. I am your joy. I am your sight. I am your life. Come, come to me and know freedom from fear.”
Turn to His Word and hear His voice. Pray to the Father and hear Him speak. Fellowship with a brother in Christ and hear His words. Let the light of Christ shine on you.
Listening to Christ,