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Seeing the Risen King

Read Mark 16:2-8

Shock! That’s an appropriate word to describe three women’s reaction when they arrive at a tomb that was both securely sealed and fully occupied the last time they saw it. Jesus’s dead body had been wrapped up and placed in a cave-like tomb, without a respectful funeral or normal burial traditions. These three women, who had followed Jesus and loved Jesus, and whom Jesus had surely loved, purchased fragrant oils to anoint his body. They probably expected to spend some time at the tomb, weeping and reflecting on their time with him.

But the memorial service was not to be, for Jesus had vacated the tomb! Instead of a wrapped-up corpse concealed behind a great boulder, the women walk into an open tomb and encounter what appears to be a young man wearing a white robe, who then addresses them like so many angels in Scripture, “Do not be alarmed” (Mark 16:6). But, for once, it seems that the appearance of the angel is not what would alarm these women; rather, it’s the absence of the dead man they came to honor!

So often in Mark’s Gospel, Jesus’s teachings and actions were met with fear, amazement, and astonishment. It seems that, even after he has died and risen from the dead, some things never change! But, the angel assures these fearful women that they will see the one they seek, and that will be the great comfort to their great fear.

Ultimately, seeing the risen Jesus is what we all need, and we gather together as a family of Christians early on the first day of the week—every week—to celebrate the resurrection of the King of Kings. Marvel at the risen King, not out of fear, but with wonder and adoration. Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed!

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