Archive for September 15th, 2010

Mark 16

Mark 16 is the resurrection story through the hand of Mark.  He tells us another woman was with the two Mary’s we learned about in Matthew’s version.  Salome was part of the trio of women who went early the morning after the Sabbath to the tomb.  The women were wondering “who will roll away the stone for us” as they approached, but that had already been taken care of by the angel who was sitting there waiting for them.  The angel spoke to them telling them not to be alarmed – a hard thing to not do – be fearful of an angel sitting on a large stone.  But the words that really capture the magic of the tomb were these: “He has risen, He is not here.  See the place where they laid Him”.  Jesus arose.  He was gone, nowhere to be found.  Can you envision it – the amazing discovery of an empty tomb.  The tomb was empty and He had overcome death.  Oh how important that is to our walk as Christ Followers.  It is the whole enchilada – Jesus power to be raised from the dead after taking our sin to the cross is central to our faith and eternity.  Jesus then appears to some folks:

–       “He appeared first to Mary Magdalene

–       He appeared in another form to two of them….walking into the country

–       He appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table

Jesus begins to show Himself and His resurrected body to those closest to Him.  The 11 had not believed so “He rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart”.  Jesus expected more from the disciples.  They weren’t really on the right page and He let them know.

Jesus then gives the great commission to the disciples.  Mark’s version is a bit different but has the same underlying meaning: “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned”.  Jesus goes on to tell the disciples the kinds of signs they would perform if they believe in Him:

–       “cast out demons

–       Speak in new tongues

–       Pick up serpents with their hands

–       Drink any deadly poison

–       Lay their hands on the sick

Do those things still apply to us today as a result of believing in Jesus?  There are cults that believe they do – that worship with poisonous snakes and drink poison and on it goes.  We know that in some cases those end with mass suicide because they were not based on faith but the teaching of a man on the wrong path.  Our faith is not a license to do whatever we want.  We need to be in step with God and obedient to what He wants us to do.  Jesus is the same place as He went after this interaction with the disciples: “taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God”.  He is there, and still our source of signs and strength.  We just need to make sure we are plugged in and walking the way He desires.  Before you go drinking poison or handling deadly snakes, make sure it is God’s plan – not yours!

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