Read Mark 16
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 Afterward 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 baptized 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 sick people, 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.
This is it! All of history hinges on the event we read about in today’s passage: the resurrection. It’s the foundation of our faith. The Good News. It is finished. Our sins are paid in full. The empty tomb is our receipt. Death defeated. Jesus is risen! Just as He said.
The first witnesses to the resurrection were the same women who witnessed His death and burial (15:47). These women had proved to be the most devoted followers of Jesus. We can only imagine the weight of their grief and disappointment as they walked in the early morning hours on the way to anoint the body of not only their teacher, but their dear friend.
To their amazement, they are met by an angel with a message—The Message. Look again at verse 6: “Don’t be alarmed, you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 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.’” These devoted women were expecting a conclusion to a moment, not an invitation to a movement.
In one verse, we learn so much about the power and grace of our Savior. “He is going ahead of you.” Jesus always leads us. He goes before us. He’s a good Shepherd who leads His flock.
We learn that Jesus’s word can be trusted. “Just as He said.” Not one word spoken from the mouth of the Messiah has been untrue. His promises never fail. He is incapable of lying. We can trust what He says. He is true and what He says is true.
Perhaps the most astonishing of all is that we learn that Jesus is a reconciler. He invites us to a right relationship with Him through grace. The invitation wasn’t only for the most devoted followers. The invitation is extended, specifically, to arguably the biggest deserter and runaway, Peter. “Go and tell his disciples AND PETER.” Jesus redeems our wasted moments and foolish failures. He pursues liars, cheaters, failures, adulterers, prodigals, and misfits and offers them hope, forgiveness, and freedom.
It is the invitation extended to all of us. Will we believe Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified, is risen…just as He said? That He died as a payment for our sins and made a way for us to have new life?
Let’s go and tell that Good News.
What’s the implication of Jesus’s desire for Peter, specifically, to know Jesus is alive? Reread Mark 14:66-72 for more understanding.
Who do you most relate to in this passage? What do you learn about the character of Jesus?
Is there a situation you’re experiencing into which you need Jesus to breathe new life? Spend some time in prayer asking Him to restore that which you think is broken.
Did You Know?
The gospel of Mark is written by John Mark, who spent time with Peter. Mark is Peter’s account and perspective from his time spent with Jesus. After the resurrection, Peter went on to pen these words: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3). Church history tells us that Peter was crucified, a martyr’s death, for the sake of the gospel.