The Hague, March 1996

"Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead." -
Acts 17:30-31

Dear brothers and sisters,

Christ is risen! That is how we used to greet one another on Easter morning, along with many other Christians all over the world. In this Easter letter I want to maintain this tradition and cry out to you: Yes, He is truly risen!

And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, "Rejoice!" And they came and held Him by the feet and worshipped Him.
- Matth. 28:9

There are encounters and encounters. One encounter is not another. Some encounters are only fleeting moments like ships passing in the night. When we meet one another on boarding a bus, we might say "Hello", and that is it. Not what you really would call a meeting in the truest sense of the word. When we come home, we might say: "I met so and so on the street".
But when we read in Matth. 28:9 of Jesus meeting the women, then in that event is hidden a fullness of communication and of fellowship from out of eternity, from out of the realm of incorruptibility.
It is a true meeting in the fullest sense of the word. Not a hasty "hello", nor an empty gesture, but in this encounter He actually transfers the power of incorruption upon these despondent souls, and they were filled with great joy and fear.
The women held His feet and worshipped Him.

In the Old Testament we find an example of similar intensity in the story of Joseph. When Joseph meets his brothers and reveals himself to them, he breaks out in loud weeping, so loud that even the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh were able to hear it. In tears he says: "I am Joseph". That was a meeting of such intensity that words fail. A meeting charged with the Divine. The brothers discover how the dreams of Joseph were not of his own making and so they were actually standing in the presence of God.
It is a prefiguration of the meeting which will occur shortly between the Risen One and His people, when He shall say: "I am He". Then the Jewish people shall mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, as the prophet Zechariah prophesied:

"And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they have pierced; they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. "- (Zech. 12:10)

It will be an indescribable meeting between the Lord God and His people!

Another example we find in the Joseph-story is the meeting he had with his father Jacob. Of course it is only a weak shadow of the meeting Jesus had with the women after His resurrection, yet in this Joseph is here once more a clear type of the Messiah!
Jacob had thought Joseph to be dead. At one time Jacob had the expectation that Joseph, being the seventh son, would truly be a sign of the restoration, as Enoch was, who was the seventh from Adam. But for many years the only reality for him was the bitter memory of the bloody and ripped garment. So when Joseph falls on his neck, it is for Jacob as if he has risen from the dead and he too is able to see that all of Joseph's dreams have come true. In that meeting with Joseph he had at the same time a meeting with God.
And one day when we shall see Jesus face to face on that great day of the resurrection, it shall be a meeting for which eternity will be just about too short to grasp it all. A total transfer of life from the God of glory into our existence, turning it into immortality. Then we too are standing before God, as Paul says in the above mentioned scripture (Acts 17:30, 31).

Coming back to the reaction of the women in the Easter story, we read: "...they held Him by the feet and worshipped Him."
In order to properly understand this spontaneous action, welling up from being overcome by His glory, we need to know something about the metaphor of feet as used in the Old Testament. When Jacob draws up his feet into the bed (Gen. 49:33), then this signifies that his life has come to an end. And when the glory of the great Priest-King, the Messiah, is described in Psalm 110, we read: "The LORD said to my Lord, 'Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool."'
Paul uses the same metaphor when he describes the meaning of Christ's resurrection in 1 Cor. 15:25-27a:

"For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet .The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. For He has put all things under His feet."

In the past we have talked about this aspect, namely that kings in those days put their feet on their defeated enemies. These enemies were depicted on a footrest in front of the throne, and when the king sat down, his feet rested as it were on them when he put his feet on the footrest. In that way his enemies were under his feet. The figure of speech has come from this usage.

The women who went to the grave of Jesus, mourning for a departed loved one, experienced something similar to Jacob, who grieved over the death of his seventh son, of whom he had expected so much. What happened to the divine promise given to Abraham? What about our calling, our election?
The women knew that Jesus would rise on the third day. He Himself had said as much. But apparently it had not penetrated at all.
Likewise with the disciples all expectations were dashed. All were offended because of Him. They all were scattered as sheep without a Shepherd. And here comes Jesus. Now the women see the fulfillment of His going over the waves and of His authority to subject the demons. Because of His resurrection all the complicity, all the hate, lies and mockery which had come to a head at the cross, are beneath His feet.

The same thing we see in the story of Joshua, when the Lord orders him to cross over the Jordan. This river still made a division between the promise and the reality of possessing the land. In order to take this barrier God gives a clear command. The priests, while carrying the ark, had to go at the head of the people and as the first ones had to put their feet on the water. Then the miracle happened, the water divided, and the people were able to cross over on dry ground. The priests had to remain standing with the ark in the middle of the river bed, and from that very same spot twelve men had each to take a stone and bring it to the other side. Exactly from the spot of the victory over the demonic powers, which made division between promise and fulfillment, because of the atonement of the covenant!

Here the women take hold of the feet of Jesus. These too are feet that will not stumble. We read in Rev. 1:15, "His feet were like fine brass." Steadfast, immovable in the service of reconciliation, in such a way that figuratively the waters of the demonic must part and the thousands upon thousands are able to enter into "Canaan". These are feet which have overcome hell. Feet, which can be put on the neck of all of God's enemies.
As the women take hold of these feet, they pay homage to the King of kings. They understand: Here God reveals how eternal life is embodied in the reconciliation with Him and how He controls all things. Beyond their human intellect, they spontaneously take hold of the reality of what has happened. He must reign as King until all His enemies have been put under His feet.

All human striving, all political and ecclesiastical bickering will come to nothing. In all this we will not find the feet of Him who brings good news, who proclaims peace.
Quite the opposite!
We too may experience in the events of today how the feet of Jesus control all of history!
But where do we find the worship of Him, the great King of the Jews? Where is homage given like the women did?
They understood: This King, who also is the Lamb, is worthy to receive praise, honour and thanksgiving.

It isn't truly Easter in your soul, if you cannot in the Holy Spirit take hold of Jesus' feet and say:
Lord, it is Your feet which rule over my sins, which have the power to forgive. The devil and the
demonic powers are beneath Your feet and those feet have overcome sickness and death. Take hold of those feet, for the Lord is truly risen!

Immediately after this the women receive the command:

"Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me."

This too Jesus had foretold them in Matthew 26:31,32:

"I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered. But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee."

This is the Galilee of the Gentiles. It will be an exodus by the blood of the Lamb into a royal priesthood, which must serve all nations. Therefore, when He appears to His disciples on the mountain and they kneel down in worship before Him, He immediately gives the command:

"All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them. in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." - (Matth. 28:18-20)

In other words: Beneath My feet is all of the politics of this world and all of what must happen to the last day. Therefore: Go!
Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament. The lines can be drawn directly from the open grave to the mountain in Galilee. When the Almighty calls back Jesus from the dead by the blood of the eternal covenant, then God has not become confused. When God gives the fulfillment of the Old Testament, things happen in the same secure way as when He descended to a world lost in sin along the rungs of a carnal human race, including sinful women such as Rahab, Tamar and Bathsheba; to be exact: six times seven generations.
And now, here is the King. The women take hold of His feet and worship Him. Feet of immortality, feet which rule over all. And yet again immediate the command follows: Go to My brothers, and tell them, that I will go ahead of them with these feet to the Galilee of the Gentiles. The place where I have called them. From there they shall go out to all the nations with this Gospel, and testify that Satan is defeated. That the prince of this world has not succeeded to establish his rule, but that his kingdom is undone. Let My brothers pass it on in the power of God that sin is atoned for. Preach this joyful news to all creatures.

It is impossible for Satan to once more overcome the cross and to undo the resurrection. On Golgotha Jesus has fulfilled all things for time and eternity! The Lord is risen indeed!
He also wants to meet us, just as He met the women, and in this meeting pass on His incorruptible life to us. For He said: "I live and therefore you shall live." By His life we will be able to put all things that oppress under our feet.
Very clearly Paul states this in Romans 16:20:

"And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly."

Jesus is the King of life.
The fulfillment of Revelation 10 He also has under His feet. We must not despair. We too must
have courage to take hold of His feet in the Holy Spirit for the fulfillment of this part of history. We must believe that He shall do it: the fullness of the Gentiles and the salvation of Israel.
The letter to the Hebrews states:

"For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels.
But one testified in a certain place, saying: 'What is man that You are mindful of him, or the son of man that You take care of him? You made him a little lower than the angels; You crowned him with glory and honor, and set him over the works of Your hands. You have put all things in subjection under his feet.' For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. "
- (Hebr. 2:5-8)

This is also valid for the coming of His kingdom, the fullness of the Gentiles, the unity of the
Church and the salvation of His people Israel.
When it concerns the fulfillment of His promises, His feet are steadfast.
Unwavering He executes His plan.
Great and majestic is Jesus Christ.

The Lord is risen indeed!

I wish you, also on behalf of my wife, a blessed Easter. With kind regards and united in Him,

A.A. Leenhouts