I don’t know about you, but a lot of times I find myself praying without a lot of hope. It seems like a lot of times my prayers go unanswered…I even become afraid to pray for big things, secretly worried that God won’t fulfill my requests. What a faithless attitude!
I imagine the women who went to visit Jesus’ tomb had a similar lack of faith. They had just seen Him crucified. They fully expected to show up at the tomb and find Him still dead.
What a surprise it must have been to find an angel who said, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said” (Matthew 28:5-6). This must have caught them totally off guard. Despite the fact that Jesus had said He would rise again (as the angel pointed out), the women hadn’t understood or believed a word of it.
I’m afraid to admit that sometimes, my prayers are raised to a dead God. I don’t see Jesus as alive—as He really is! I forget that He is risen and that He is at the right hand of the Father, victorious over sin and death, the firstborn from among the dead, and the righteous Judge over all the earth. The angel challenges me, “Come, see the place where he lay” (v. 6). Jesus is no longer dead. He is alive!
I thank God that He has mercy on us despite our lack of faith. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus.” The Lord said, “Seek, and you will find” (Matthew 7:7). God honors a heart that earnestly seeks Him even in weakness. Jesus says to us, “Do not be afraid” (Matthew 28:10). He knows and understands our weakness, and His mercy comes new and fresh every morning.
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:15-16).