MARK 16:1-20 (NIV – UK)
Jesus has risen
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. 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?’
4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 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.
6 ‘Don’t be alarmed,’ he said. ‘You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 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.”’
8 Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.
[The earliest manuscripts and some other ancient witnesses do not have verses 9–20.]
9 When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. 11 When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it.
12 Afterwards Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. 13 These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either.
14 Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.
15 He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on people who are ill, and they will get well.’
19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.
JESUS IS RISEN!
Jesus has been born of a woman, grown up in a family, been baptised by John the Baptist, taught many things and performed many miracles, been arrested, beaten, crucified and then laid in a tomb. And all of that has been leading to this moment.
As the two Mary’s and Salome reached the tomb they see that the stone has been rolled away and there waits a man dressed in a white robe – presumably an angel. This is what he tells them: ‘You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him’ (v. 6). Jesus, who had died on the Cross, had not stayed that way for long. Death was unable to hold the Son of God.
This is his victory! Victory over sin and death! A victory won once for all – a victory won for us – so that we may die to our old selves, and be made alive in him. No longer do we need to be captive to sin and death. We can die to our old selves spiritually, and rise to new life in Jesus.
But what’s more – Jesus’ resurrection was also physical – a new resurrection body – blazing the trail for us – that one day, when he returns, all those who are in him will rise from the grave with a new body, to new life with him. Our New Creation future isn’t a spiritual, bodiless or other worldly experience. Jesus shows us that resurrection life is real, tangible and physical. That is the glorious and wonderful future he offers to all!
Stuart Townend, in his song ‘In Christ Alone’, sums it up beautifully:
There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain:
Then bursting forth in glorious day
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine –
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.