A New Beginning
Mark 16:1-7 ESV
John 20:1-7 ESV
John 20:11-18 ESV
Romans 6:4-5 ESV
Even though Jesus pretty much told His disciples there was more to come it makes sense that they didn’t understand.
I mean, how could they have had any idea what Jesus was talking about?
I don’t think they would have even understood if Jesus would have outlined what was about to happen in detail. That’s because the resurrection was not an ordinary event.
The truth was they knew Jesus was crucified. They knew He died. They understood that death was death. It was (is) the end of life as we know it.
We also have to take into account their state of mind. They gave up everything to follow Jesus and now their teacher was gone.
What will they do now?
Do they go back to pick up the broken pieces of their lives before they knew Jesus?
And…how do they do that when they are devastated that they lost their beloved teacher?
How could Andrew, Peter, James, John and possibly Nathaniel, Thomas, and Philip go back to being fisherman?
Matthew gave up his profession as tax collector and there was no going back.
Simon the Zealot also walked away from his previous life and going back to being a revolutionary was no longer possible.
I think all of them were more than confused. I think they were disconcerted. They were completely and utterly upset and uncertain about everything they had known. They thought they were part of something big…really big, and now the bottom fell out.
I love the account written in the Gospel of Mark.
In Mark 16:1-7 we read, “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.”
I love it that even though they were all confused and hurting, it was the women who went to the tomb early to anoint his body with spices.
It was the women who were told that Jesus was not there because He had risen from the dead.
Even though they had no idea how they would roll away the large stone, they went to the tomb anyway.
It was the women who found the Angel inside the tomb who gave them instructions about what to do next.
In the Gospel of John he wrote that Mary Magdalene was there first. Dear Mary who felt like she had failed and failed and failed at life went to the tomb the morning after the Sabbath was over. She went because His body was there and she wanted to care for Him.
John 20:1-7 tells us, “Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus' head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself.“
Notice when Mary told the disciples that Jesus was not in the tomb, so they ran to the tomb to see what had happened.
And while they were there we learn in John 20:11-18, “But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.”
It was Mary who found Jesus.
It was Mary Magdalene who had been so unsure of herself who found Jesus. Isn’t that just like Jesus? He doesn’t look to do what others expect Him to do. Jesus knew Mary’s heart and He also knew her need for Him was great. Jesus knew what it would mean to Mary.
Sometime later, after Saul of Tarsus met the Lord on the road to Damascus, he wrote in
Romans 6:4-5, “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.”
Saul who became Paul understood the totality of being fully united with Jesus in the resurrection.
Paul who also walked away from everything he had known in order to follow Jesus knew newness of life. He knew by turning to Jesus, all things would be made new.
Spiritual Practice: New Life
What does new life in Jesus mean to you?
In God, Deborah