Imagine yourself before the empty tomb now. Offer the Lord your thoughts, your praise, your sense of wonder.
Read MARK 16:1-20
 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body.  Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb  and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”  But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away.  As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.  “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.  But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.'”  Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.[The earliest manuscripts and some other ancient witnesses do not have Mark 16:9–20.]  When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons.  She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping.  When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it.  Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country.  These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either.  Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.  He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.  Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.  And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues;  they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”  After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God.  Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhy did Jesus rebuke his disciples here?
Although Jesus had told his followers what would happen, they were all totally unprepared for the events of that Sunday morning. Look at their reactions (8,11,13,14). They need help! So through his messenger (5-7) God provides: a clear confirmation of events: “Yes, this is the tomb of Jesus of Nazareth who died by crucifixion.” A clear explanation: “He is alive, no longer dead.” A clear proof: the tomb is empty. A clear instruction: “Go and tell the others.”
But the choice is ours—will we believe what God has said? Often our initial response is like that of these early disciples (8,11,13). We dare not believe the unfamiliar, the unproveable.
What will change our minds? An encounter with the risen Lord! For these disciples it was a physical encounter (9,12,14). Today, the Lord meets people in a variety of ways: a voice in Scripture, a word from another believer or in the heart, a dream, or just a sense of his presence. We enjoy not just a one-time encounter but a daily experience of his presence.
How could you tell others of your own experience of meeting the Lord, even if met with scorn or disbelief?
Lord Jesus, I know that You are indeed alive. Help me to show and share that with others often.
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