Friday, April 22, 2011

Mark 16:1-8 Jesus Christ’s Resurrection (The Empty Tomb)

Mark 16:1-8
1 Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him. 2 Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. 3 And they said among themselves, “Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?” 4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away—for it was very large. 5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. 6 But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. 7 “But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.” 8 So they went out quickly and fled from the tomb, for they trembled and were amazed. And they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

If the cross signaled to the disciples of Jesus seemingly the end; the empty tomb will usher in the future of endless hope because of the resurrected Life, Power, and Person of Jesus Christ. That is where we begin, Jesus Christ having been placed in the tomb, and it being sealed, and the disciples having spent the Sabbath in a solemn state. For having heard the jeers of the crowds, the priests and scribes who mocked the Savior of the world as He was dying for all our sins. There now seemed little left to do but go about some formalities. And so with the Sabbath past Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him (vs. 1-2). A gesture of respect and honor by two of the many women who followed Jesus, who themselves had come to experience the restoration of personal dignity by the Jesus’ Person to their Person and gender. In this Mary Magdalene had come to experience this most profoundly. For she was a women of no reputation, accept that she once had unclean spirits, along with some undisclosed infirmities, whom the Lord cast out, and healed her of (Mark 16:9). And having healed her, Mary's loyalty to Jesus ran deep. And so it is no surprise of her presence at Christ’s crucifixion (John 19:25) and now along with Mary the mother of James and Salome to be the first of all the disciples seeking out the Lord after that dreadful event was completed (John 20:11-18). Dreadful in what Jesus suffered for us all; Glorious in what it accomplished.

And so she along with Mary the mother of James, and Salome also being a disciple of Jesus, having observed where Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus had laid the body of Jesus, in an newly hewn tomb, together they bought spices that they might come and anoint Him. And having come to the tomb they encounter it sealed, and with that their hearts likely sink. Yet their journey from the cross to the grave does not end there. Instead by a supernatural work of God the stone is rolled away (Matt. 28:2-4).
Understand this then there is no barrier to the resurrected Christ and the glories that await us all who believe that we must overcome in of ourselves. For whatever barriers are put before us. God Himself, who has covenanted with us, because of our faith in His Son Jesus Christ, will move for us. Now these are barriers to our faith and life with Him, not barriers to our own desires when these fall outside of the will of God for us (James 4:2-3). Therefore as we trust and obey Him and seek to honor Him. He will move them for us. Just as the Mary’s were intending to do here; for it’s not in our own strength or resources we prevail; it’s God’s. All things then are possible to the one who has faith in Jesus (Phil. 4:12-13). And so God who knows all things sent His angel to roll away the tomb’s large stone; which the Mary’s could by no means move themselves. And having scattered the guards, God makes the way for the Mary’s to enter the tomb. God then having made the way for them, the Mary’s enter the tomb, fully expecting to find Jesus’ body so that they might anoint it. It is a poignant moment where they take one last gasp of fresh air before entering, anticipating death, not life. Instead as they enter, they are alarmed to see a young man clothed in a long white robe, sitting on the right side of the tomb, (vs. 5). The young man himself being an angel sent by the God to greet them and tell them of Jesus’ resurrection!

And with their being flabbergasted by his presence, the angel says to them: …“Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. 7 “But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.” 8 So they went out quickly and fled from the tomb, for they trembled and were amazed. And they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid. Vs. 6-8

Now the angel having calmed the Mary’s then declares to them Jesus of Nazareth’s bodily resurrection, telling them to note the place he once lay (vs. 6). They then are the first eye witnesses to Christ’s empty tomb and Mary Magdalene will be after leaving it the first eye witness to Jesus Christ’s resurrection, Jesus appearing to her later (Mark 16:9-11; John 20:11-18). With that the angel wastes no time and tells them to go and tell the disciples; and Peter; that Jesus is risen and “…that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.” Vs. 7

Notice then within the promise of Jesus going before them is also a specific word of reconciliation for Peter, since he was devastated for denying Jesus three times during His trial. Now that is the first act of post crucifixion grace that the Lord Jesus Christ extends to one of His own who fail Him. Yet it will not be the last; for the resurrection of the crucified Lord Jesus Christ is the Living Message of grace, hope and new and everlasting life to everyone who believes (John 3:16-17; Rom. 3:23-24; 2 Cor. 5:17). I pray then that is the message you are hearing this Easter Sunday. For the angel does not tell the Mary’s to go and tell the Good News to the disciples, but shun Peter for his denying Jesus. Instead the angel says go and tell the disciples, yes, affirm their faith, but also tell Peter, make sure you reaffirm him, by telling him that Jesus lives and loves him and is going before you all, and will meet with you all soon. By the way do you know any Peter’s who need to be reaffirmed in their faith this Easter Sunday? Who maybe by word or deed have likewise denied Jesus in some way? If you don’t your probably living in a religious bubble that needs to be burst, for there is no one if they are honest about themselves that can stand up and declare their unfailing faithfulness to the Lord Jesus. If they do, then I would suggest calling them to account, because nobody who is truthful about themselves or those around them can honestly pretend or assert such things about themselves or others.
For we all fail, though our desire is not to, we all fail at being the kind of disciple we want to be: Loyal, faith filled, righteous, just, holy, Godly, merciful, loving, kind, prayerful, service filled and fruitful beyond ourselves. We all have disappointments about ourselves and our journey with Jesus as we move away from our old sinful nature into the new holy nature within us.

Nonetheless failure on our part does not mean our defeat. That is the message the angel declared, and I want you to take with you this Easter, the Lord Jesus Christ’s Resurrection and thus His victory over death and everything else that could possibly keep us from God and the life of Christ. For Jesus Christ wasn’t crucified because of our inherent righteousness, goodness, faithfulness or holiness, but our universal sinfulness. Yet that is how much God loves us; for though the Law universally places us all under sin and thus under the judgment of God. Nonetheless the Good News is that Jesus Christ was crucified for us all, then He rose from the dead on the third day so that we can all attain to the Righteousness of God simply by faith in His Person (Rom. 3:19-28; 2 Cor. 5:21). Hence Jesus Christ’s cross justifies us all who believe in Him regardless of what one has done or not done in the past (John 3:16-21; Rom. 5:1; Gal. 2:16, 19-21). Therefore what one once was does not enter into it when it comes to being justified in the sight of God; and thus being useful and fruitful for His purposes; for being declared righteous by God is simply by faith in Jesus Christ’s Person (Rom. 3:19-28).

Have you then come to the place of repentance towards God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as the sole means and Person for our salvation; because after our bodies yield their life, strength and beauty back to earth, there is no chance for reconciliation with God. We must make our decision for the Lord Jesus Christ here and now while our breath is within us. The Mary’s had a right focus and priority, for they followed Jesus right to the cross, then to grave. How far are you willing to follow Jesus? For the Scripture says: “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.” Heb. 9:27-28

Are you eagerly waiting for the Lord Jesus’ Return? As those whose lives are being built upon Jesus Christ and pursuing His Kingdom’s purposes. Or are you spending your life on pursuing your own pleasures, dreams and treasures? In essence where is your faith? For if it is isn’t built upon the Solid Rock Christ Jesus and faith in His Person as the sole means for salvation then whatever your pursuing and hoping to satisfy you will not only leave you unsatisfied in this life. It will leave you at the end of your life empty and barren before Him at the judgment to come (Mark 8:36). For Jesus Christ having been crucified for our sins, He has risen from the dead and ascended back to the Father waiting till all His enemies are made His footstool (Luke 19:27; Heb. 10:12-13). That is what the angel is declaring to the Mary’s, Jesus Christ’s resurrection (vs. 6) and thus His victory over death and everything and anything that could keep us from God.

If you would like to receive the Lord Jesus Christ and truly celebrate Easter in the love and joy of the Lord. Simply pray a prayer of faith inviting Jesus Christ into your heart and life to be Lord and Savior. Simply pray this: Dear Lord Jesus I believe in You that you were crucified for my sins and You rose from the dead three days later so that I could have everlasting life with You. Therefore I want You to be My Lord and Savior. And I now ask You to come into my heart and life to be my Lord and Savior, in Jesus' Name amen.

Scripture Quotations
The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

Word Studies
Vs. 5 alarmed (STR 1568, GK 1701), page 240-241, under title heading thauma G.K. 2512
in the New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology (Abridged Edition) Verlyn D. Verbrugge, Editor

No comments:

Post a Comment