Scripture: Mark 16:1-20
Observation: Jesus is raised from the dead, and Mary Magdalene found the tomb empty. She told the disciples he was alive, but they didn’t believe her. Jesus appeared to two more of his followers (yet the disciples still didn’t believe it), then finally he appeared to all eleven of them as they ate together. The chapter ends with Jesus commanding his disciples to go into the world and share the Good News.
Application: Remember “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming”? Well, good news – Sunday is here.
When Mary Magdalene goes to the tomb and finds it empty, she likely feels scared, panicked, sad. But, the thing was she couldn’t see the end of the story, and we can. While she saw the empty tomb as a travesty, we see it as a triumph.
Death couldn’t destroy him. The grave couldn’t hold him. His ending was the start of a miraculous beginning.
And you know what part of the story I love? When he finally appears to all eleven of his disciples together, he doesn’t focus on the miracle of his resurrection. I mean, if you defied death and then got to see your friends, don’t you think you’d mention it? (And by “mention it,” I mean talk about it non-stop because it’s crazy awesome.) But, not Jesus. Nope, he did something far more selfless than that. He gave them clear instructions:
“Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned.” (verses 15-16)
His final words to his disciples are his final words to us, too.
Go, and share the Good News.
You’ve been chosen by God to share the miracle of Sunday. And the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is the same power that lives inside you, too.
So, go and share. Tell your friend, your neighbor, the person who sits a few cubicles down from you at work. Tell your brother, your coach, the Starbucks barista who knows you like your iced coffee black with extra ice. There’s a God who loves each one of them enough to watch his own Son die an excruciating, painful death – and then raise him to life three days later. There’s a God who made a way for them. There’s a God who doesn’t care about their past mistakes or their flaws but offers them a free gift anyways, the gift of salvation, the gift of eternal life.
From the tomb came triumph, from the rejection came the resurrection, from the hurt came the hope.
Let’s praise God for Sunday.
Prayer: Thank you for the resurrection, a perfect reminder about the end of a story that’s not really an ending at all, but rather a beginning. Thank you for the resurrection, for salvation, for life. Amen.