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Mark 16:1-6 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.
After the unhappiest sabbath the disciples ever experienced, the news that He is Risen! It’s interesting that, although women were second class citizens in Middle Eastern society, the angel didn’t tell the women to go get the men so he could make an announcement. He told them the news for them to tell the men. Even more interesting is that the one name that is mentioned in all four Gospel accounts is Mary Magdalene. Not only was she considered lower because she was a woman, but even lower than a normal woman because she had been a prostitute. It was as if all the Gospel writers wanted us to recognize that both God and the angel considered her worthy enough to receive and pass along the news of the Resurrection! What an amazing picture of the grace of God! No matter where you start in life, if you accept Christ’s salvation, you gain equal standing with the other believers, you gain God’s love, protection, grace and mercy! Wow! That’s truly a special thought. Resurrection life lifts up not only the Savior, but the saved, as well. Fear Not!
I also had some other thoughts about the Easter season. It struck me how really led of God Joseph of Arimathaea must really have been. In most cases, those who were crucified either had families who had burial plots or those put to death had no one who really cared if they ended up in a mass body dump. And here was Jesus, on the Cross till late afternoon, no burial plot. The sabbath started at sundown and, by law, if a person wasn’t buried before the sabbath, the burial had to wait till after the sabbath. Which would have left Jesus’ body at the mercy of scavenging animals, possibly.creating bodily damage that might have prevented Christ from fulfilling some of prophecy. But Joseph of Arimathaea came forward and offered his burial tomb. I can’t help but wonder at the spirituality that led to the timing!
One of the things I’ve never quite understood is what I’ll call “the battle for Easter”. There are parts of Christianity whose main Easter season focus is the three hours on the Cross, almost to the point of downplaying the importance of the Resurrection. And there are others who so emphasize the Resurrection that it almost makes the Crucifixion seem unimportant. In truth, none of us can deny that without the Resurrection, nothing else would have the spiritual impact that it does. But let me ask you a question. If, instead of the Cross, Jesus died, say, from a brick falling off a house and hitting His head, would the Resurrection be taken as seriously as it is? Or would it become no more than a spiritual magic trick? We have to remember that, in God’s economy, nothing (and no one) is wasted or unimportant. The Crucifixion adds meaning to the Resurrection and the Resurrection validates the Crucifixion. One without the other would mean much less.
Some divergent but good things to meditate further on, as we progress past Easter weekend. We hope you had a blessed Easter.