The resurrection of the Lord Jesus is the most disputed and confrontational issue that has been both an academic and social debate over the past 2000 years. Yet for followers of Jesus, it is the greatest news, filled with the hope of eternal glory!
Mk 16:1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body.
They purchased spices to anoint Jesus’ body and off they go to the tomb. The spices are sweet smelling oils … they knew Joseph and Nicodemus had embalmed Jesus’ body with spices … but they wanted to anoint the body externally with these fragrant oils.
Mk 16:2 Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3 and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”
They left their homes in Bethany whilst it was still dark and walked 3.2 kl to the tomb. They arrived at the tomb as the sun started to shine. The way verse three is phrased … it means these ladies with their heads hung down kept asking the same question over and over … “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” They had absolutely no anticipation of the resurrection! Almost in answer to their question … verse 4 says … they arrive at the tomb and find …
Mk 16:4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away.
They looked up … surprised! So they enter the tomb.
Mk 16:5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.
(The different Gospels have different wording here … but the same message). They see a young man … “dressed in a white robe”. This white robe refers to a stately dress, reaching the feet … almost “train-like” … sweeping on the ground … it depicted richness and beauty. No earthly young man could wear such clothing! Mark wants us to grasp that this ‘young man’ is not human … but an angel! (Angels do not age!) The ladies were alarmed … not in fright but in wonder … they were completely amazed! Listen to how the angel speaks to them!
Mk 16:6 “Don’t be alarmed,”
he said. The angel wants them to calm down … to relax … as in immediately! He then says:
Mk 16:6 “you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene!”
This gets their attention. He is specific. He is pointed and practical in his statement.
Mk 16:6 “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. This Jesus who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.”
In their wonder they had not even seen the grave clothes all folded up. So … this angel is a Divine Agent sent from the Father coupled to an open Tomb, an empty Tomb and empty grave clothes! And then follows the obvious, yet staggering words … “He is not here!” Look there where He was laid … he is not there … check the tomb … He is not here! Luke puts it like this:
Lu 24:5 “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen!”
Then the angel gives instructions to the ladies:
Lu 24:7 “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.”’
Look how serious this is … “tell His disciples and Peter” … tell the deserters and tell the disowner … tell them what? Tell them Jesus has risen from the dead! You saw the tomb is empty! Actually … you’ll find Jesus in Galilee – he told you this beforehand!
Consider this … The pyramids of Egypt are famous because they contain the mummified bodies of ancient Egyptian kings. Westminster Abbey is noted because within its walls there are contained the remains of many nobles and notables. Muhammad’s tomb is visited because of the stone coffin with his bones in it. Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D. C. is revered because it is a resting place for many outstanding Americans.
Each cemetery anywhere in the world has bones in each and every grave … yet, the Garden Tomb of Jesus is famous because it is empty! The angel said … He is not here – He is risen – He is alive. Check the place out – Verify for yourself – He is not here! So here’s the real issue … if he is not there, then where is He? He is risen! He is alive! And … this is exactly as He said it would be … and more … it’s exactly as the Scriptures said it would be! He is not dead any more. He is alive! Now, what does Jesus’ Resurrection mean and what does it mean to you and me who believe?
Jesus’ Resurrection witnesses to the power of God.
Col 2:12 through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.
True miracles only happen when God stretches out His “powerful arm”.
Jesus’ Resurrection gives credit to His claim to be the Son of God.
Mk 14:61 Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?”
62 “I am,” said Jesus.
Jesus’ Resurrection proves His sinless character.
Heb 14:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.
Jesus’ Resurrection authenticates the Old Testament prophesies. For example Isaiah 53:10-11.
Jesus’ Resurrection proves He is the Saviour of the World.
Jn 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
Jesus’ Resurrection guarantees every believer the assurance that he or she will also participate in the resurrection unto eternal life to be with God in glory, eternally. Jesus’ Resurrection is the hope of the Church … everything hangs on this Truth because it implies He is coming again to collect His own for heaven and cast the rebellious into damnation!
O Christ, Son of the Blessed One … we rejoice and delight in celebrating Your resurrection today as we look forward to You coming to collect us to participate in the general resurrection of all Your blood washed souls. Amen.