Life After Death
Bow your head and heart now and offer your praise and worship to the risen, living Lord Jesus.
Read Mark 16:9-20
[The earliest manuscripts and some other ancient witnesses do not have verses 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 gospel 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.
ReflectWhat convinced the disciples that Jesus had risen?
Jesus had died in a shocking, public and gruesome way. Death is usually the end of the story, so the widespread refusal to accept his alleged return to life is not surprising (11,13,14). Many people had loved him and were now sunk in the depths of grief. For some, it took a face-to-face meeting to convince them of the staggering truth that he was back in the land of the living (14). He had risen! He had risen, indeed! We have had many Easter days since that first, and each time we are faced with the challenge of looking into the empty tomb and accepting that he is not there, that he has risen. We have to believe those who reported that they saw him, their testimony echoing through the ages. This passage, an ancient ending added to Mark’s Gospel, whisks us past Sunday and on into the following week and the one after that, and later months and years. After the resurrection, life is not the same, and there is plenty to be getting on with.
How have you seen the Lord “confirm his word” (20) in your life? How is your life different because he is risen?
Risen Lord Jesus, I know You have risen and I pray that my life will show evidence of that to everyone.