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“The STONE Has Been REVOVED” “The STONE Has Been REVOVED”

Be back in Three days, Tops!
Be back in Three days, Tops!
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“The STONE Has Been REVOVED”

Posted on Wed, Apr 8, 2015

Mark 16:1–8 (Easter Sunday)

April 5, 2015

Easter Sunday!

 

Gospel Text: Mark 16:1–8 “The STONE Has Been REVOVED”

The Resurrection of Jesus

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one another, ‘Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?’ When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, ‘Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.’ So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

 

 

The Lord is Risen! He is Risen INDEED!

 

Picture Jesus looking directly at you when he was suffering on the Cross, but now picture Him coming out of the tomb with searching eyes, looking for you from the empty tomb! Picture Jesus coming out of the tomb with eyes looking for you, as if Jesus had a special message, a special mission, only Jesus could trust you to accomplish. If you were not there, surely Jesus would have sent the women to find you to tell you of your new purpose as a forgiven, Re-Created, Easter Child!

 

When we celebrate communion, there is a line in the Great Thanksgiving I particularly like to proclaim, “after supper, Jesus took the cup, gave thanks and gave it for all to drink, saying: “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin. Do this for the remembrance of me.”

 

It is that simple word, “all,” that really hits me, as it really means Jesus is giving his body and blood for the salvation of all people of the world, then and now, throughout all of history. Big wide strokes of grace given for all in the light of God’s Justice, born out of suffering, mercy and grace. This is such a generous proclamation of grace most people cannot get past who that grace may also welcome! It falls into that “God so love THE WORLD, that He gave his only begotten Son…”

 

The proclamation of Jesus resurrection after all the suffering, betrayal and injustice is a proclamation that is fit for this world. It truly is a message worthy proclaiming from the mountaintops to the four corners of the cosmos! A life from death event, it must be proclaimed to the world!

 

However, just as the event was meant for all of God’s Creation, it is also necessary to make the Good News personal. Jesus was thinking about you in just as personal manner as he was when the other criminal hanging on a cross requested Jesus, 42‘Jesus, REMEMBER ME when you come into* your kingdom.’ 43And Jesus replied, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.’

 

Just as easy it was for Jesus to answer this man’s question about their fate, in that in a short time they would be in paradise, Jesus looks at us when we ask, “Why Jesus? What was it that you saw it fit to give your own life for a person like me? A world like ours? With neighbors like mine!?

 

Jesus did go the cross obediently for a grand purpose. First, in order to reconcile our relationship with God and ourselves, but with completely with new conditions. But now let’s expand that view…

 

When Peter began to speak to them: "I truly understand that God shows no partiality, 35but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ—he is Lord of all.”

 

The commandment is; Love God with all your heart, mind and soul; and second is like it; Love your neighbor as you have been loved. It is great to claim the good news of Easter just for yourself… but the purpose of Jesus resurrection was to raise us from our self-centered dead life, to a life where we see the world through justice seeing eyes to see, and compassion through hearing ears to hear, so that we can be our resurrected Jesus to all of our neighbors.

 

All of human history, past, present and future came together the moment Jesus gave his life on the cross. All that was old and dead, was passed into oblivion, and with the resurrection of Jesus, a new reality is born. We go into the world living in this constantly renewing reality.

 

Open the newspapers and see the present reality and the present reality Jesus is giving us this amazing gift of living in justice and mercy of God, in order to be Lights to a world filled with darkness and hopelessness. Do we think the suffering and injustice of the day is unique to the days of Jesus? From the moment the tomb was empty and the women went to anoint his body, Jesus sent them back into the thick of ministry. According to today’s text: “As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, ‘Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.’”

 

The ‘young man’ most likely an angel, commands the women to bring the Good News of Jesus’ resurrection to the men hiding behind closed doors immediately; And especially to Peter who is probably wallowing in feelings of relentless guilt. AND THEN THEY ARE TO TRAVEL BACK TO GALILEE!! JUST AS JESUS HAD TOLD THEM!!

 

Why Galilee? If the religious leaders had a fit about Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey and seeing the people welcoming this trouble maker as their king, albeit they were mistaken at WHAT KIND OF KING, what do you think would have happened if Jesus would have said, “After I rise from the dead, meet me in the temple so we can jeer at the Pharisees and the Scribes?”

 

Jesus sent them to Galilee because that is where Jesus made God’s power and mercy known in the healing of the sick, the feeding of the five thousand, the teaching of the Beatitudes, the welcoming of the outcasts, and so much more. Jesus is not saying we are going back to the good old days, but Jesus was sending them back into the world empowered by the promise of the resurrection.

 

They no longer follow Jesus as disciples and learners, but now they go out empowered with the knowledge of what they they had experienced in hearing the Truth that Jesus has been raised from the dead just as he had promised. They are to preach and teach what they have witnessed that the promise of forgiveness and the resurrection is True!  

 

You and I are no different than the women and the disciples being sent to the other disciples ordering them to go back to Galilee, not just to see Jesus again, the resurrected Jesus, but also do what Jesus commands, love God with all your heart mind and soul, and then to do the same for your neighbor. In so doing, you will make the Light of God shine in the world, and you will be blessed to be a blessing!

 

Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her king;

Let ev’ry heart prepare him room and heav’n and nature sing!

 

Amen

 

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