Summary: Our risen Lord enters our reality/our familiar if we but listen to his voice.
Loving the Familiar
June 10, 2007
I want us to begin this morning with three verses before we turn to the passage listed in the bulletin.
Would you turn with me to Mark 16:6-7, page 1584. This text is Mark’s version of the resurrection of Jesus.
"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. 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.’"
Jesus had been killed by hanging on a cross - falsely accused and misunderstood by the Religious authorities. And though he had followers, people faithful to him - few of them were with him when he died.
Once Jesus had died, his body was removed from the cross and placed in the tomb. And 3 days later Mary Magdalene
Salome made the journey to the tomb in order to anoint Jesus’ dead body with spices, but when they arrived, Jesus’ body was no where to be found. It was gone.
What had replaced it in the tomb was an angel, verses 6 and 7 tell us what the angel said to Mary Magdalene
Notice the angel tries to comfort them in their fears.
"Don’t be alarmed," he says.
Notice the angel wants to clue them in on what has happened.
"You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here."
And Notice the angel wants to point them to the place they can see him.
"He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you."
The One that they were seeking was actually ahead of them.
This One that they were desiring to anoint with spices was no longer encased in a tomb but on his way to Galilee.
Galilee being the place where much of Jesus’ ministry took place.
Galilee being the place where many of his followers were from.
Galilee that familiar place. That was the place that he resurrected. Jesus was headed - He was headed back to the familiar.
And if they were willing and able to make the journey to Galilee, they and his disciples would be able to see him.
It was . . .
There and not where they were.
There, ahead of them and not where they stood.
In Galilee and not in that tomb.
There ahead of them in Galilee that is where they would have to go if they wanted to see Jesus
God would not allow the women to stay where they were and as they were if they were to find their Jesus. They would have to take a journey and if they went. If they followed the angel’s instructions, they would see him just as he had said. (Mark 16:7b)
This is often how it is with our God. In order for you and me to meet up with him we often have to leave behind our ideas as to where Jesus is or could be to leave and head back to the familiar, the routine, the normal in order to find him.
We tend to think and believe that God can only be found and accessed at holy places
at spiritual places at significant time.
We are prone to believe that we must climb to mountaintops in order to be with God.
Or we must get out of our neighborhood and our routine in order to find him, but the angels’ words to the women who were wanting to anoint their dead Jesus was that - he was not in the tomb. But had gone ahead of them. Back to Galilee - back to the familiar and if they went there, they could see him.
But Mark’s text make it clear, they didn’t do as they were instructed at least not right away.
Instead of going with confidence and expectation, they trembled and were bewildered.
Instead of going to tell the disciples and specifically Peter verse 8 tells us - "they said nothing to anyone because they were afraid." (Mark 16:8)
My speculation is:
They were overwhelmed with the thought that Jesus was alive.
They were in shock to have seen and heard from an angel.
They froze unable to comprehend it all and I want to suggest that part of their inability to follow through with the angels words has to do with the reality that Jesus was headed back to be with them, where they would be living their lives. He was determined to make his home in their home. Jesus was going back to their familiar.
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John record a total of 8 encounters with Jesus had with his followers after his resurrection. And 7 of those 8 times took place in a familiar spot.