Did You Know? —From “The Last Week,” Borg and Crossan
• The first gospel story of Easter is in Mark and constitutes only eight verses. Matthew has 20, Luke has 53 and John has 56.
• Mark does not report an appearance of the risen Jesus. Appearance stories are in the other gospels.
• Mark’s Easter story ends very abruptly.
The Resurrection of Jesus
16 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. 2 And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. 3 They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” 4 When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. 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 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. 7 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.” 8 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.[a]
Some Thoughts on Today’s Reading—Pastor Pam
When we think about the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we remember how he conquered death. Because he lives, we live, too. This can embody a focus on what happens after this life. But the breadth of the Easter Story of resurrection is reflected in the ministry of Jesus, his suffering on the cross and the instructions he gave his disciples the last week of his life.
It is about the Kingdom of God. It is a kingdom of life out of suffering and this life takes many resurrection forms. Jesus was passionate about the kingdom and he calls us to that same passion.
Resurrection happens when we encounter Jesus in our lives and experience how his passion for kingdom transforms us. He works within us, even when we are not aware of his presence, changing us and inviting us to new paths. The Apostle Paul talked about how we die to our former lives and rise with Christ in our own resurrection. We are never the same. Changed forever. Alive for ever.
While the cross shows us the inevitable outcome of people of violence and separation from God, the story of Jesus shows us a God of life and resurrection. Is the resurrection story of Jesus after the cross most significant? Absolutely. But God rises us in many ways throughout our lives.
When we remember what Jesus endured for us, and what he was passionate about, we better understand the nature of the God we worship. A God who forgives. A God who loves all. A God who does not act through violent ways but in the non-violent manner of God’s son, Jesus. A God who offers us the portal of faith…a means of grace…an entrance to the Kingdom. He is risen! He is risen indeed!
Peace and Grace,