On Sunday April 20th we looked to the resurrection account of the angel visiting with the woman at the empty tomb. In Matthew 28 we find:
5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then 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.’ Now I have told you.”
In the middle of this exciting and world changing proclamation we find four common words with a very uncommon meaning: Come… See… Go… Tell…
Over the past two thousand years valiant efforts have been made to evangelize and share the Easter message. However I find that the simplest ways are often the best ways and the angelic visitor has given us a very healthy pattern for sharing the good news we have found upon realizing the tomb is empty.
Invite people to come. Come to a Bible Study, come to church, come to a missions project, come on a missions trip, come over for dinner… A simple invitation. I am sure you can see how this mirrors Jesus’ pattern of invitation. It does not need to be spectacular but it needs to be authentic. If your church or Bible study or whatever you are doing is not an authentic representation of Christ, that is of course your first order of business. But God can help with that!
See what God is doing. Let people experience the message. We have a grand opportunity to be holy tour guides, just don’t be so pushy that the tourist sees only what you want to see and how you need to see it. Let the beauty of the gospel speak for itself. Most often it needs no commentary… funny statement for a preacher huh?
Go. It is natural once our eyes are opened to want to just sit with Jesus and live in a holy hermetically sealed environment. Peter wanted that on the Mount of Transfiguration. In the days leading up to the crucifixion I believe this was the number one problem the disciples had understanding and accepting what Jesus was telling them – they did not want to let him go. I get it, believe me I get it. But the message compels us to go into the world led by our cherished relationship with Christ. The adventure is out there, beyond the walls.
Tell. If we live authentic Christian lives people will want to know what is different about us. Tell them. Look for opportunities to tell others. That does not have to mean jumping all over people with statements but asking questions, finding out what they think about the world, how we got here, what is the meaning of life. After a while they will get around to asking you your thoughts, but most people first want to know and trust you enough that you value what they have to say on such important issues.
Evangelism is the lifeblood of who we are, it is a command and a privilege presented to us by the reality of an empty tomb. If we live in such a way that Christ is the center of who we are then it flows naturally out of who we are in Christ. Don’t sweat it, just allow Christ to live through you and remember what the angel said to the first ones to discover the stone rolled away.