November 15, 2015
“He has risen!”
That angel at the empty grave site uttered the three most powerful, meaningful, life-giving words that have ever been spoken on earth. On second thought, “it is finished” might trump “He is risen.” But Jesus’ words would be meaningless without the angel’s words. They go together.
Our Lord was most assuredly dead. The Roman guards at the cross took care that no condemned person escaped the death penalty. In our Lord’s case his heart was pierced with the spear to make sure that no life remained in him.
Joseph begged his body, and by the loving hands of those who were sure that he was dead he was wrapped in spices and fine linen, and laid in the rocky tomb. There lay our Lord, in the grave, with a stone rolled at the cave’s mouth, and a seal set upon it by those in authority, whose envy made them take double precautions.
Just as when a prince in state is watched by a guard, so was our Lord’s sepulcher watched by a guard of Roman soldiers, that no one might steal his body. There he lay in the heart of the earth, for a portion of three days and nights. He was really dead, and in the grave he wore all the marks of the deceased – a napkin was bound about his head, and the linen clothes enrapped his limbs. C. H. SPURGEON
This Sunday, sadly and gloriously, we come to the end of Mark’s gospel, where the women who came to the tomb to mourn leave with “He is risen!” ringing in their ears. We don’t see John’s account where the disciple Jesus loved saw and believed after seeing the strips of linen, and the shroud that Jesus had been wrapped in lying there. In this account, we have three women leaving bewildered. Their minds were swirling with the possibilities, and their tenuous but emerging joy was mixed with confusion.
He is risen? Could it be? Jesus had mentioned on several occasions that he would rise, but the followers of Jesus had never dreamed that he would die, much less rise again. MARK 10:34
This Sunday, Erik Thoennes will lead us through Mark’s account of the resurrection. Romans 8:11 gives us a wonderful “cash value” that flows from Christ’s bodily resurrection.
And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you,
he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies
because of his Spirit who lives in you.
CHRIST IS RISEN
Written and sung by Matt Maher