When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. 2 And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. 3 And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” 4 And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back—it was very large.5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed.6 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. 7 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.” 8 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. – Mark 16:1-8
I read an interesting op-ed in the New York Times yesterday. By Essau McCaulley, one of the comments he made relates specifically to this passage from Mark’s gospel. He says, “Easter is a frightening prospect.” it was for the women who made their way to the tomb that first day of the week. They were so unprepared for the empty tomb and the absence of Jesus’ body that they went away filled with fear, and told no one.
You might be ready to dismiss this idea of only a fearful celebration of Jesus’ resurrection. And with good cause: Jesus’ resurrection is incredibly good news. It means he was vindicated in his faith in God and his life of perfect obedience and love. It means our sins have been forgiven. It means he lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
This is cause not only for fear, but our love and trust in him as well. Let’s let Eater do its part to help with all three of those. I hope you will be one of those who gathers with others in public worship this Easter, with a healthy fear, love, and trust in the God who has saved us by Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.
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