He is Risen {Mark 16}

8:39 AM

By Becky Bramlett Austin

It was early on the first day of the week and 3 women (including Mary of Magdalene and Mary the mother of James) walked together toward the tomb of Jesus. I'm sure their hearts were grieved as they hurried to anoint his body with the spices they had bought. Perhaps it was the shock of the events of the last few days that kept them from thinking about the obstacles, in particular a large boulder barring their access to Jesus. But, no matter, for the rock was of no consequence. There were no soldiers guarding the tomb to stop them, no barriers stood in their way. And in expectation of their arrival and the questions to surely come, God placed an angel to greet them and instruct them. You see, God knew the bigger plan and He went ahead to take care of all of the details. He does that for you and I as well. Sometimes our hearts and minds may be full of questions, fears, and uncertainties, but God knows the bigger plan and wants us to know that He goes ahead of us to orchestrate the details, remove the barriers, and provide the instructions we need to know what to do next.

Such wonderful news the angel gave these women: ““Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’ ” Mark‬ ‭16:6-7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The angel wants to shift their focus from death and loss to life and eternity. So much power and hope is revealed in those 3 triumphant words"He is risen!" Christ's resurrection is what our Christian faith hinges on. Paul talked about it's importance to our faith:“If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith… For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.” (1 Cor. 15:13-14, 16-17). But, praise God , Christ did conquer death and by His resurrected life, we are given forgiveness of our sins and the promise of eternal life too. "Because I live, you will live also." (John 14:9)

Even though the women are told to not be afraid, we are told they left fearful anyway. The disciples are laying low after Christ's death because of fear too. And, they have doubts. When Jesus finally meets with them he even scolds them for their lack of belief. But, oh how patient Jesus shows himself to be. He doesn't give up on the disciples and he doesn't give up on us even when we struggle with doubts and fears along the way. Instead, He wants to empower us just as he empowered the disciples. He took this fearful, doubting group of common men and sent them out with a grand mission : “He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” ( v15) And the chapter closes with confirmation that they did just that: “Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.” (V20)

I encourage you to reflect on the importance of those words"He is risen". I also want to encourage you to trust that God has work for you to do also and will be patient with you as you ask Him to help you with your fear and doubt. He longs to empower you to bring others to Christ and to help others grow in their relationships too.

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