“The Lord Is Risen”
On this day millions and millions of Christians throughout the world declare with emphatic voices, “The Lord is risen!” They testify to the miracle of miracles, that death could not hold the Lord Jesus, the Son of the living God.
Those who first witnessed this fact are recorded by all four gospels. Although they differ in some details, they each declare that the tomb was empty. Today we read Mark’s proclamation and events of the empty tomb. Mark testifies that Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of James and Salome, brought spices so that they might anoint him.
They worried about the massive stone that would be sealing the tomb. Upon arrival they were amazed to find the stone rolled away. With fright they entered the tomb and saw a young man dressed in a white robe. The young man said, “Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified. He has risen, he is not here, see the place where they laid him.” Then they were instructed to go and tell Peter, “There you will see him as he told you” (Mark 14:28). At first, they were so frightened they said nothing to anyone.
We know from the other gospels that they did go to the other disciples, although fearfully, and share what they had witnessed (Luke 24:12; Matthew 28:8; John 20:18).
His resurrection is the cornerstone of our worldwide witness. Of course, the Master’s proclamation of love, forgiveness, grace, and mercy is the heart of his message, but without the truth of the bodily resurrection, the fearful disciples would have disappeared. It was the resurrection that gave them the courage to live for him, and even die for him, and go into all the world with his message.
Tom Shelton, bishop and retired pastor
DeLeon Springs, Florida