Sunday, March 18, 2012

Fear and the Resurrection

Jesus is dead. Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome head to the tomb to anoint the body of their so-called Messiah. They had been with Jesus for years now, taking care of him, praying with him, learning from him. He was dead, and so they came to perform their last act of mercy. When they arrived the tomb was open and in the grave a man in white sat, waiting to tell them that Jesus has been raised. The Gospel of Mark then says:
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.
They were afraid. Jesus wasn't supposed to be crucified, but he was. Jesus was supposed to be dead, but he wasn't. Fear struck them. Terror held them. What is this that the dead may walk? They had seen the blind given sight. They knew about the feeding of the thousands. Miracles were performed, even Lazarus stood up.

But this was a different animal. Jesus was dead. They had seen him, his body limp and his spirit broken. They watched while the cross was rudely torn down and the nails pounded out. They followed the procession as Joseph of Arimathea wrapped his body and laid their Lord in a tomb. They saw the stone rolled tight. Jesus was dead.

And now a man in white says he is raised. The possibilities are only now beginning to dawn. Be afraid, Jesus is risen.

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