Read Mark 16 – Resurrection Sunday! Hallelujah, He is risen indeed!!! And how wonderful for us to be setting our hearts and minds on our risen Lord as the Easter holiday approaches.
Mark records, “Saturday evening, when the Sabbath ended, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome went out and purchased burial spices so they could anoint Jesus’ body.” :1 Then, just before sunrise, the three set out for the tomb, wondering who would roll the stone away for them. When they arrived it was already rolled aside and they discovered a young man clothed in a white robe sitting on the right side. (:4-5)
Beloved, ponder the fact that Jesus did not need the stone rolled away to leave the tomb. He could walk on water (Mark 6), escape crowds intent on killing him (Luke 4) and pass through walls (this happens later on this same Sunday, recorded in John 20). The stone was rolled away to let the women in… to let us all in so we could better know that He is risen from the dead.
The angel says it all, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body. Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died.”
Beloved, spell check does not like where it says, “is risen”. It wants to say “has risen”. But I stand with Scripture, Jesus’s resurrection is eternally present and not past tense in any way!
When the angel says, “including Peter,” my heart swells. Peter would need special encouragement over the others as he just denied Jesus three times, as Jesus said he would (14:30).
Beloved, have you wandered from your faith and returned? Do you suffer from nagging guilt as I imagine Peter did? Jesus left a special encouragement to His disciples, with the extra special point for the angel to say, “including Peter”. Will you trust that Christ is risen for all, including you? Why don’t you say it out loud right now with your own name, “including _______”!
Our next reading will be Philemon. It is a short book with only one chapter. You will find it towards the back of the New Testament, between Titus and Hebrews.