Jesus has Risen

This is written by Hannah Fairclough. She is thankful the crazy wind has stopped and she can go a day without swallowing her hair (girls will know what I'm talking about!).

Mark 16:1-20

Jesus has risen

16 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.

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 Afterwards 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 baptised 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 people who are ill, 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.

Reflection

This is such an exciting part of the Gospels, possibly the most exciting part as Jesus has risen from the dead and given us a way to have a relationship with him by taking away our sin. You would have thought that this story would have been full of non-stop parties, news of his resurrection spreading like wildfire through the towns and people becoming Christians left, right and centre! But instead we find sadness, unbelief and the good news being stopped rather than spread.

It's hard to believe that the disciples, after knowing that Jesus was the son of God and having witnessed first hand the miracles he had performed (including raising someone from the dead!), were so quick to dismiss Mary's report about the empty tomb. I want to shake them at this point and shout 'wake-up' in their faces 'this was literally predicted and you knew that, where is your faith!?'  But of course, I handily have the whole Bible and know how the story ends.

If I think about it a bit more, taking off the those-silly-disciples-they-got-so-much-so-wrong hat (which is one of my favourite hats), I realise I'm actually pretty similar to them. How many times have I been waiting for a miracle and haven't believed it when it’s happened? Maybe I've put it down to a coincidence or forgotten that I prayed for it in the first place. How many times has Jesus shown himself to me and I’ve not recognised him, as happened on the road to Damascus?

We're all guilty of the disciple's unbelief and our human, hardwired tendency to doubt. Thankfully Jesus didn't let this stop him from using the disciples and it doesn't make him stop using us too. The good news of his resurrection means that we can come to him with our doubts and he doesn't turn us away, he meets us with love. Pray and ask for more miracles, to see him move in our lives and for our eyes to be open to see and believe.

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