“And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, ‘Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him.’” (Mark 16:5-6 KJV)
The women headed to the tomb that day thought they had one job: they were going to finish the job of anointing the body of their friend Jesus who had died just before the Sabbath. Their biggest concern as they walked to the tomb, was the stone. Who would help them roll away the stone? When they arrived, the stone had already been rolled away. They went into the tomb to finish their sad duty, only to find the most confusing news of all: an angel told them that Jesus had risen from the dead. The other gospels give specifics of Jesus’s appearances after His resurrection. Mark doesn’t. The biggest takeaway from the story Mark tells is that the followers of Jesus didn’t expect this. They were afraid and amazed. They mourned the death of Jesus. They didn’t believe – which earned them a rebuke from Jesus later.
The existence of the Christian faith depends completely on the resurrection of Jesus. Either Jesus rose from the dead and we have a unique faith, or He didn’t, and Christianity can throw its hat into the ring as another religion like all the other religions of the world. None of Jesus’s scared followers expected this resurrection to happen, but soon after spoke out with boldness about the resurrection, defying those who would arrest and kill them. They believed that Jesus was totally alive and based their lives and reputations on that. There are lots of options in today’s world. We can pick and choose religious beliefs like we were at an “All you can believe” café. But if Jesus rose from the dead; if Jesus is totally alive, there’s only one way to live, and that’s in a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
Lord Jesus, You are totally alive! You rose from the dead and live today. Mold me to live as You would have me live. Make me bold so that I can share the truth about the Resurrection like the early disciples did as the Church grew from nothing into a world changing organization.