Father, I praise You that the stone of death has been removed. Jesus lives and I will live forever in him.
Read Mark 15:42-16:8
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.
“For us, resurrection life is the revitalization we experience through the power of, and in the light of, Christ’s resurrection” (Millard Erickson). It’s life as God intended it for us.
Mark’s narrative moves on quickly to its climax.. We need to save the full joy of celebrating the resurrection for tomorrow. Our problem is that we know the story so well that we find it hard to capture both the pain and desolation of the Saturday and the incredible joy of the Sunday.
Jesus was dead. Roman soldiers knew death when they saw it and the last thing they would have wanted was news to get out of a revolutionary who had survived crucifixion. Pilate was convinced that Jesus was dead. Joseph knew it. The women, coming in love and grief to anoint the body in preparation for slow decomposition, knew it. Friday evening and Saturday offer no hope–except to Roman authorities who are rid of a potential troublemaker, and Jewish leaders who are free of a presumed threat to their power base and theological system.
No one, not the women, the twelve, the Sanhedrin, Pilate, or the soldiers, had any expectation of resurrection. This makes the actual event all the more surprising and all the more convincing. In their loss and confusion, these broken disciples make the greatest discovery of all time. Hope dawns for women with spices (1), for Peter struggling with his failure (7) and for all of us. Death has been defeated (Rom. 6:8-10). Jesus’ resurrection is the first, but there are many others to come (1 Cor. 15:20-23; 1 Thess. 4:13-18). And, wonder of wonders, this glorious message of hope and victory is entrusted to a group of fearful, puzzled, silent women (8). Later it will be entrusted to a group of doubting men (Matt. 28:16-20). It is still entrusted to fallible, fearful, tongue-tied people like us. But somehow it will get out, as it always has.
Praise God for the way he uses people like us in the spread of this glorious message. Pray for the mission of your church.
Lord of Calvary and the Empty Tomb, the world is different because of Your resurrection. Help me to share the hope and joy of it.
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