( A commentary on Mark 16: 1-7)
Daily Reflection – 4/4/2021
And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week they went to the tomb when the sun had risen. And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the door of the tomb?” And looking up, they saw that the stone was rolled back; — it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe; and they were amazed. And he said to them, “Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen, he is not here; see the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you.” (Mark 16:1-7)
It’s a somber beginning to a message of hope.
Mary Magdalene; Mary the mother of James; and Salome go to the tomb where the body of Jesus lay. He was their dearest friend who had cared for them as no one ever had before, who had taught and shown them more about God than they had ever imagined, who had helped them to understand themselves and yet loved them unconditionally, and who had brought out the best in them and captivated them with a dream that came crashing down around their ears when he was ruthlessly put to death and buried.
Then they are told that Jesus had risen and they are given the message to tell the disciples. They are sent out to complete the story.
Isn’t that the call of Easter? Isn’t that the personal message of Easter? Having seen the empty tomb, we are called to become the living expression of the life of the risen Christ in this world.
Because “Jesus is alive again” makes all the difference in how we live our lives, overcome our fears, handle the past and face the future.
Easter makes all the difference in the world to young parents walking away from a tiny grave. Don’t tell me it doesn’t. I’ve seen it too many times in my ministry.
Easter gives people eaten up with the need for revenge the strength to forgive — not because they have the strength but because the risen Jesus lives inside them.
Easter gives people holding on to sobriety by their fingernails the hope that if God can raise Jesus from the dead, God might even be able to raise drunks when they fall.
This resurrection story helps the man who just got out of jail and keeps getting turned down for a job because of his record. Easter keeps him getting up in the morning and continuing to search for employment, because he knows this story shows that God has a pretty good track record for handling desperate situations.
Easter gives us hope that the way things have always been will not always be.
Easter is about more than a fortunate Jewish rabbi being raised from the dead. It’s about the whole world being raised from the dead when he was raised.
And that means one day God will bring to pass a world where no father will ever abuse his child and no child will ever abuse his father; a world where no mother will ever again watch her children go to bed hungry; a world where nobody will point a gun at anybody else; a world where no woman will ever be assaulted or insulted by a man, where no mother or father will die from a ravaging disease leaving orphaned children.
The message of the resurrection is that Christ still lays hold of us. The way we can stay in touch with him is by allowing ourselves to be touched by him and in bringing his touch to others.
We often imagine ourselves pursuing an elusive God, trying to find him as the treasure in the field. The message of the resurrection is that he finds us. The seekers at the tomb could not find him until he had found them. Redemption is allowing oneself to be found by God.
Prayer of The Day
Lord Jesus Christ, you have triumphed over the grave and you have won new life for us. Give me the eyes of faith to see you in your glory. Help me to draw near to you and to grow in the knowledge of your great love and power.
Dr. Walter Wink wrote that the “the resurrection is not a fact to be proved, but an experience to be shared.” Christians are an Easter people. Resurrection is a reality to be lived out here and now, not just in the world to come. “It is divine transformative power overcoming the power of death.” And catch this: “Resurrection is not a contract or a time-share apartment in heaven. It is the spirit of Jesus present in people who continue his struggle against domination in all its forms, here, now, on this good earth. The rest is in God’s good hands.”