Thursday, January 22, 2009

Mark 16 -- Resurrection

Well we made it. The first book of the New Testament has run its course. Here in the last chapter of Mark we have the story of Easter morning. The women went to the tomb to anoint Jesus. I find it interesting they were more concerned with the moving of the stone than they were with the thought of going into the tomb. Upon finding the tomb open, they just walk in, in a matter of fact kind of way. Now this may have been common in those days, however in my mind there is nothing common about walking into tombs. Then again the whole day was fairly uncommon. Jesus delivered on his word. This validated the whole thing.

It must be recognized there are many alternative stories of that morning. Some have said the disciples stole the body to create a false proof of Jesus teaching. Others said Jesus never really died. Still others have come up with all kinds of explanations about why Jesus was not in the tomb. At another time in another place those arguments can be examined, and debated. For the time being, we will focus on what the resurrection means for us.

The resurrection of Jesus means that out faith is not in vain. If Jesus is still in the tomb, if Jesus is simply dead, the messiah he was not. If Jesus is still dead, all the great miracles and teachings are important, however not the work of the incarnate God. If Jesus is in the tomb on that third day, the whole of Christianity is a farce. Having said that, the tomb could not hold Jesus, and therefore will not hold us. Jesus' absence from the tomb announces freedom to the captives, declares the door of freedom, justice and fullness of life has been flung wide open. That morning, like no other morning in all of creation, changed forever the course of history.

In the end, science cannot prove or disprove the resurrection. Theology cannot even pull off the task. No amount of study and thinking will bring us to a total conclusion. What it comes down to is do you believe.

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