And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?
And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.
But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.
Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept. And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.
After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country. And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them.
Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
Have you ever read a book or seen a movie that when it ended, you thought, there must be more to the story? That the ending came too quickly, and abrupt? You want there to be more to the story…
I remember years ago I finally saw the movie, Grapes of Wrath. A fictional account of a family during the great depression, it was excellent and I was totally absorbed in the story, and yet before I knew it, it was done, leaving me with a huge sense of, Don’t end it now! What happened after?!
This ending chapter of the Book of Mark leaves a similar effect. As it began, it also ends in a rushed account, almost clinical, straight to the point synopsis of Jesus’s resurrection and commission to the disciples and believers.
We find the women on their way to the tomb early Sunday morning, bringing spices to anoint Jesus’s body with. It’s interesting that they never considered how they were going to get into the tomb until they were almost there- as if rolling the stone away was an after thought. Also, it’s interesting that there were no guards there to contend with, as that should have been in their minds as well. But maybe they weren’t meant to think of the problems they were surely to encounter, but only of the job they knew they needed to do.
The angel comforts the women, telling them not to be afraid, for Christ that was crucified was risen as He had said He would be. Then he tells them, “But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee…”
Notice how much Jesus loves and not only forgives, but doesn’t mention past transgressions. The angel tells the women to tell the disciples- to comfort them and fortify them, those who had rejected and left Him. And that one who denied Him. “Tell them!”
Reminds me of Psalm 103..
Too good to be true?
I admit I am not the most positive person on the porch. I have doubts daily, fear over things I have no answers for (in my own life). I have absolutely no doubts when it comes to God’s existence, or the supernatural, and have no doubts at all that Jesus is Who the Scriptures testify He is, nor do I doubt that God isn’t continuously working His plans out for the world or of the fact that He blesses those He chooses to bless, or that He provides miracles still. But I still doubt about things in my own life, or am afraid and anxious too often or, unlike the women going to the tomb, I tend to think too much of the problems before me rather than focused on what God would have me do (Let go and let Him).
I have to wonder if the women thought it was too good to be true? They did run and tell the disciples, yet they still did it trembling and afraid, telling no one else on the way.
And surely the disciples thought Mary had lost it. And figured those who claimed to have seen the Resurrected Jesus were mistaken, and figured it was just too good to be true.
People tend to think of Doubting Thomas when it comes to doubt and unbelief, and yet what does Jesus have to do when He shows Himself to those who were closest to Him, but show them His scarred hands and feet, and asking for something to eat, to prove (again) that He is not a ghost. But I’m running ahead of things, because that happens in the Book of Luke, which we’ll be beginning next week.
Mark’s book was concise, straight forward, but not quite as dramatic or focusing on the miraculous as Matthew’s Gospel- but it’s because of the short, factual accounts that we can gain a trustworthy account of the birth, ministry, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus.
As short as Mark’s Gospel is, we are so glad to know there is more to the story! And I am so grateful that we have God’s Word that reveals it, even as we see it in our lives and world unfolding…
Have a blessed Wednesday everyone!