Summary: Easter message. For all of us… it is the climatic conclusion to a story that we all know something about. For no figure has had a greater impact on our civilization than Jesus… the Christ. His teachings… treatment… proved to have a power that is tra
When you’re reading a great book it builds anticipation for the last chapter… for how it finishes.
When you see a story in the form of a movie… you can feel it moving towards a climax that will
help you understand it all.
Today we come to the last chapter… the final scene in the ultimate drama….the Divine drama… the
definitive drama … It’s a drama that longs to include every human soul to know that it’s their own.
For those who have been joining us on Sunday mornings… this is the conclusion of a series…
BREAKTHROUGH (Gospel of Mark)
For all of us… it is the climatic conclusion to a story that we all know something about. For no
figure has had a greater impact on our civilization than Jesus… the Christ.
His teachings… treatment… proved to have a power that is transforming and transcendent.
But he always pointed towards the conclusion… something more climatic.
He defined his entire meaning and mission… Kingdom of God… exchange of sovereignties… the
intensity no one was prepared for…
Verses 1 – 3
1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome
bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. 2 Very early on the first day of the
week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3 and they asked each other,
"Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?"
Sabbath (Saturday)… now they would be permitted… so early Sunday morning… and they realize
that they will have to contend with the large stone that seals the tomb…
No small phenomena… the size… the guards…
For ultimately it represented Rome … the all powerful world empire… tried him…killed him…
and sealed him shut.
> Stone… symbolized their sorrows… sealed their longings
• Jews… justice… power over evil… a world made right…
• For others it was obvious that all that is wrong isn’t just out there… but within as well.
o Mary Magdalene – power over sin…
o Peter … left with his shame… not the man he thought he. was
• Mary… mother of Jesus… she faced the death of her son (having already lost her husband
Joseph).She longed for a quality of relationship that didn’t have to end.
These are the longings that run through our souls… we may try to deny them … but deep down
they still cry out: We sense the world isn’t right… and wonder if there anything that can turn it
So they come early that morning.. with spices…
Their longings have died… but at least they can try to dress them up… make the stench go
away… do something ceremonial to try and hold to the ideals / love we had hoped for.
Sounds a bit familiar. We can all try to avoid the stark reality of our longings and losses. This is
what religion often becomes… simply trying to look back upon a figure of inspiration.
But at least they had the courage to go… while others hid away in their fears… these women had
a loyalty and courage to go.
And what happened next would not only transform them… but become an invitation to us all.
But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away.
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 "Don’t be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He
has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter,
’He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’"
With those words… with that discovery… everything changed.
Nothing could contain what was inside… all that Jesus had proclaimed now broke through.
This is what transformed these lives…there was no mere figure of inspiration and ideals to dress
They were transformed by the reality that Jesus was loose after all… that all that he had been
trying to explain was true and coming about. The breakthrough he had declared and
demonstrated… had broken out… beyond the limits of temporal life and death…
“He has risen! = (GK - ēgerthē, pass.) “He was raised”…indicating that the Resurrection was
God’s act. (a New Testament emphasis cf. Acts 3:15; 4:10; Rom. 4:24; 8:11; 10:9; 1 Cor. 6:14;
15:15; 2 Cor. 4:14; 1 Peter 1:21).
There is so much that declares it…
• Prophecies that are verified over several hundred years before
• Jesus himself… establishing his divine role… and then predicting both his death and rising