JUNE 5, 2016
MAIN TEXT: MARK 16: 1-8
When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back—it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.”And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.
We worship today on a Sunday because Jesus rose from the dead on a Sunday. This tradition happened early in the Christian church. The Sabbath became the Lord’s Day. Every Sunday is an implicit celebration of the resurrection of Christ.
We have been tracking through Mark’s account of the betrayal, scourging, and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. We have to understand that we aren’t different than the people written about in the Bible. They were living in chaos and mass confusion. They were experiencing darkness and brokenness in their world much like we are today. They had a longing for things to be made right like we all do. All of the advances of the world over the last 2000 years still fail to satisfy the longing that mankind has for life to be the way it should be.
What mankind disagrees on is how the broken world will be fixed.
The Tomb Opened by God
Mark contrasts the darkness of the crucifixion with the sunrise of a new day and a new week. Light has dawned. Darkness turned to light. Death turned to life. Chaos turned to peace. Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Jesus came to anoint Jesus’ body (verses 1-2). The plan was to cover His body with spices so the body would not stink. They would leave the body in the tomb for about a year and go back to get the bones. The bones then would be kept in a box.
They wondered who would roll the stone for them when they arrived (verse 3). They look up and the stone was moved (verse 4). Their problem was solved. Mathew 28:2 tells us how it happened. God Himself opened the tomb.
Verse 5 clearly describes an angel that addresses their fears and proclaims good news.
Jesus Raised by God
This angel acknowledges their hopes, the reality of the crucifixion, and the fact that, “He has risen; He is not here” (verse 6).
Jesus didn’t just defeat death like Chapter 5 when Jairus’s daughter is raised from the dead or when Jesus raises Lazarus from the tomb. This is something massively more significant. He destroyed death! Death has spread to the whole creation because all have sinned (Romans 5). This death is what causes the longing in our hearts for things to be fixed. The realities of death are cinching the world. What we long for has now been made reality!
What the Bible tells us in Christ’s resurrection is huge:
- God has defeated all that brings darkness
- God has destroyed the works and strongholds of the devil.
- Jesus went into death and trampled over death by death.
- Jesus entered into our disobedience, depravity, brokenness, and death – the absence of God.
- When Jesus rose from the dead, He decimated death!
The strongholds on your heart, home, and our world have been defeated and destroyed by Jesus Christ. Jesus is the first fruits of this reality (1 Corinthians 15:20). All of us will come following. The longing in our souls will be met. The resurrection tells us that this hope for something better than the way the world is now, is not merely wishful thinking.
This hope is sure and true. Death has been defeated; it just hasn’t been fully applied and realized. The battle still exists, but the war had been won.
While the world disagrees on how the world will be made right, the Bible is clear that there is only One who saves and it is Jesus. The resurrection of Jesus is the truth that you want to find yourself in in order to have all of your longings fulfilled. Jesus’ lordship is established in the resurrection. There are many wrong answers given to the world’s longing for something better. We need to look for something outside of ourselves. The hope and help is found only in Jesus.
When you look for answers to the brokenness of your life and this world, you must ask yourself if you believe that Jesus rose from the dead. If you believe that He has, then submit to Him – His teachings and life and be made new through His Spirit. His words are life – and obedience to them is life - even if it feels like death to obey them.
The women at the tomb were sent to go and tell what they had seen. The answer of Jesus’ Lordship was given to them. They were to proclaim this gospel with their very lives and we are too. The way we live our lives should declare to this broken world what is coming- showing a foretaste of the complete healing that is coming. We do this by the power of His Holy Spirit that raised Him from the dead (Ephesians 1:16-23; Romans 8:11).
The resurrection has power for today, tomorrow, and forever!
APPLY TO LIFE
This week, as you reflect on the message, utilize this section to help you apply what has been taught to your life. Think of friends, co-workers, neighbors, family etc., that you could meet with to have a time of mutual sharing as you open God’s Word together.
This simple acronym (BLESS, B - Bless, L - Listen, E - Eat, S - Speak, S - Sabbath) should help you to frame your life according to the great commandment “love God” (Matthew 22:37) and the expression of that commandment in loving your neighbor (John 13:34). Each time you meet, start by discussing the rhythms of your life according to B.L.E.S.S.
Intentionally bless: Christ-followers, non-believers and those different than you.
Listen to what God is saying to you, through His Word and others.
Share a meal with a Christ-follower and also a non-believer.
Talk to God through prayer and to others about Jesus through witness.
Be intentional about taking time to both rest and recreate.
DISCUSS THE MESSAGE
Read: Mark 16:1-8
When you ponder your faith, or when you face doubts, what is the bottom line for you, what is your anchor? How do you give a brief answer to why are you a Christian?
Toward the end of Jesus’ ministry, what were the disciples expecting of Him? When Jesus was crucified, what were they probably thinking? (See Luke 24:19-24)
How does your own heart and personal experience give testimony to the resurrection of Christ?