Urgent Fear and Joy

Journal Entry // February 13, 2022

So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.

Matthew 28:8 ESV

As I reflect on this passage, I see that there are three emotions that the two Marys carry with them after encountering the resurrection of Jesus. They have a sense of fear, a great joy and overwhelming urgency. These are typically the emotions we all have when we first encounter Jesus and his resurrection. Every new believer has a sense of fear, joy, and urgency all mixed together. The question I ask myself at this moment is, “Why do I not feel these now?”

Do I have that sense of fear that captivated me when I first encountered the risen Christ? I know that it is still there. I know that there is still this holy fear in my heart, but if I’m being honest with myself and with God then I would have to admit that it is somewhat diminished. In some sense I have become too familiar with this holy righteous God. It is good and right to fear Jesus. A fear coming from an understanding that he alone is holy and good and I am filthy and full of sin. A good and proper fear that teaches me to remember that my savior is God Almighty and worthy of worship and wonder.

This fear then leads me to joy as I see this holy other One who is inexpressibly good and righteous leaning down, condescending, to be with me. This one who is sinless was made sin for me. He took all my sin and paid my due penalty by enduring the wrath of God. This is my joy. My great joy! I lose this at times. The gospel becomes all to familiar. Just another story among the thousand other stories that I hear. A story told to me a million times and a story I tell to others a thousand times. It just becomes that, a story. I let the gospel become like water on a duck’s feathers as it beads up and rolls of harmlessly. No. I need the gospel to wash over me. I need to gospel to flood me. I need the gospel to penetrate my innermost being. This gospel is my life and breathe. This is my joy. I rejoice that the breathe of God fills me everyday. That like a child being lifted high in the air by his dad never tires of the game and continually says, “Do it again!” I want this joy. I want to ask Jesus to do it again and again and again.

This will naturally lead to urgency. An urgency to take within myself this gospel on a regular intentional basis. To breathe in and drink deep of the love that Jesus has for me. To take a deep deep breathe of the Spirit and let it fill me. And as I’m filled with the Spirit, I breathe out the gospel to everyone I encounter. I share this fear and joy with everyone. Not waiting for tomorrow. Not waiting for a better time. Not waiting until I feel right about it… No. I depart quickly and I run, like the Marys did. They didn’t wait and hope they see the disciples casually. They immediately took off and ran to find them. To share this gospel message of hope with them. So they too could have fear and joy. Lord, give me this urgency.

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