Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. (Matthew 28:9)
The resurrection of Jesus is not something we expect. It isn’t something that we can explain either. But once we encounter the risen Christ the instinct to worship him is an almost automatic response.
When the women went to the tomb that first Easter morning, they had no idea what they would encounter. But Matthew’s gospel gives no hint that they are going to anoint his body. There are no spices mentioned and no hint of their expectations. They are simply going “to see” the tomb of Jesus. When they arrive there is an earthquake, the stone is rolled away and an angel announces that Jesus has been raised.
Their instincts are to hurry to the disciples and tell them what they know. Jesus is alive! The tomb was empty! Something amazing has happened.
But the desire to tell about Jesus’ resurrection brings with it the opportunity to also meet the Christ who is risen. Before they get to the disciples, Jesus gets to them. The women encounter the risen Christ. The story has moved to a new level. This is not news about an empty tomb. It is news about a living Jesus. They immediately drop to their knees, grab Jesus by the feet and worship him. They are deterred from their first inclinations to go and tell when the meet the risen Christ. They have no choice but to stop and worship him.
This is instructive. When we encounter the risen Christ we want to worship. We HAVE to worship. It is something so deep inside of us that we can’t not worship if we have met the living Jesus.
This Easter, take time to do more than run through the story. Pay attention around you. If you have been baptized, you have the promise that Jesus is with you in all things. When we gather for worship, we have the promise that Jesus makes his presence known to us in the bread and the cup of communion. When we are together as a community of faith, we have the reminder that we are the body of Christ and that where two or three are gathered in his name, Jesus is there. And when we go out to serve, we have the promise that Jesus is present in the needs of our neighbors.
If you need to re-meet the risen Christ, the opportunities are all around you. And when you do, your innermost instincts will kick in and you will desire nothing more than to worship him.