Where to begin and how to end? Today we end our last Moment in Mark as the 31-day Writing Challenge comes to a close. Once again, it has spurned me on to write on days that I really didn’t want to. It has helped push me out of my comfort zone and more importantly opened my eyes to different perspectives of the gospel as the Lord moved me to see with new eyes areas I had been blinded to previously. Thank you so much for joining me on this journey this year. May today be a blessing to you as we join the women approaching the tomb to anoint Jesus’ body only to discover the greatest miracle of all time as well as Jesus’ last words to the disciples before His ascension.
Can you imagine watching your Son’s death; His body laid in a tomb with a huge stone in front of it, and then sent home because the Sabbath was about to start? What would it have been like for those next 24 hours as you waited to go back to the tomb and anoint His body? The silence, the conversation, the relieving of good memories, the weeping over such deep loss of your child? The grieving process in full force.
As the day began to break you and the other women head to the tomb to anoint Christ’s body and discuss who to ask to remove the stone so you can have access to it. As you approach, you look up and discover the stone has been rolled way!! You each make your way into the tomb and find a young man dressed in a long white robe, sitting on the right side. Before you each faint, he announces,
“Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has been resurrected! He is not here! See the place where they put Him. But go, tell His disciples and Peter. ‘He is going ahead of you to Galilee; you will see Him there just as He told you.’” Mark 14:6-7
Before they could even process all the information they turn, walk out of the tomb and then begin running, trembling, and astonished. Because of their fear they tell no one what they just encountered.
How can it be that we can witness the greatest miracles in our lives and the promises fulfilled by Christ Himself and still keep our mouths shut?
When Christ, Himself appears to Mary Magdalene, she does go and tell the disciples but…
“They did not believe it.” Mark 16:11
Then Christ appears to two men on the road walking into the country and when they go and share what had happened…
“The did not believe either.” Mark 16:13
Christ appears to all 11 when they are at the table.
“He rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who saw Him after He had been resurrected.” Mark 16:14
Then Christ gives them the command to go and preach the gospel to the entire world. He tells them that anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved, but those who do not believe and baptized will be condemned. He tells them the signs that will accompany all those who believe: 1) demons will be driven out in His Name, 2) will speak in new languages, 3) pick up snakes, 4) if they drink anything deadly it will never harm them, 5) lay hands on the sick and they will get well (Mark 16:15-18).
After speaking these things Jesus left them and sat at the right hand of God. The disciples then went out and preached everywhere. The Lord worked in them and confirmed His working through the signs He said would accompany them.
I do not wish to end our last moment in a debate regarding whether or not the verses 9-20 should or should not be included in the book of Mark. I want to focus on the fact that Jesus is sitting today at the Father’s right hand. He has told all of us to preach the gospel to the entire world. We have heard His voice these past 30 days strongly encourage us to not live by the traditions and faith in man, but to live a life that reflects the power of God working through us because of the work He did on the cross through His Son Jesus Christ. May we end this month acknowledging the same power that raised Christ from the dead is also the same power that is in us today. We are not defeated. We are overcomers in Christ. He is our salvation today and forevermore and worthy to be praised.