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Summary: THE AUTHENTIC RESURRECTION, REAL HOPE FOR A HURTING WORLD. A JOURNEY OF DEVOTION FAITH AND HOPE.

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MARK 16 1-8.THE RESURRECTION – REAL HOPE FOR A HURTING WORLD.

ON FEBRUARY 6 1958 A CHARTERED PLANE CARRYING MOST OF THE MEMBERS OF THE MANCHESTER UNITED FOOTBALL TEAM KNOWN AS THE BUSBY BABES CRASHED ON TAKE OFF FROM MUNICH IN GERMANY. WITH SO MANY OF THEIR STARS PLAYERS LOST, SOME DESPAIRED OVER PROSPECTS FOR THE CLUBS SURVIVAL. YET TODAY MAN UTD OUT OF THE ASHES OF THAT CRASH AS COME ONE OF THE BEST KNOWN AND MOST SUCCESSFUL FOOTBALL TEAMS IN THE WORLD. FITTINGLY, THE MAN WHO REBUILT THE TEAM SURVIVED THE CRASH SIR MATT BUSBY.

• NEARLY 2000 YEARS AGO, THE ARREST OF JESUS AND HIS SUBSEQUENT CRUCIFIXION AND BURIAL, CAUSED MANY OF HIS FOLLOWERS TO DESPAIR TO GIVE UP ALL HOPE. THEY TO WERE IN A STATE OF SHOCK, JESUS HAD BEEN CRUCIFIED AND WAS BURIED IN A TOMB. ALL THEIR DREAMS AND HOPES FOR THE FUTURE SHATTERED, ALL HOPE HAD GONE.

• BUT THEIR DESPONDENCY EVAPORATED ON THAT FIRST EASTER MORNING WHEN THEY FOUND THE STONE ROLLED AWAY, JESUS HAD RISEN!

• THE RESURRECTION TO ME PUTS EVERYTHING INTO PERSPECTIVE NO MATTER HOW BAD THINGS BECOME OUR WORLD MIGHT LITERALLY CRASH AROUND US – THERE IS STILL REAL HOPE – BECAUSE JESUS WAS RAISED FROM THE TOMB – THIS IS OUR SOLID FOUNDATION TO LIFE AND DEATH AND REAL TANGIBLE HOPE, OFTEN IN THE MIDST OF DESPAIR.

THIS RESURRECTION IS JAM PACKED WITH AUTHENTICITY – SET IN THE REAL WORLD - IF MARK HAD CONTRIVED THIS STORY HE WOULD HAVE NICELY PACKAGED IT FOR US - BUT JUST LOOK - ITS FULL OF DESPAIR - FEAR – ALARM – BEWILDERMENT AND AT THE HEART HE PLACES WOMEN AS THE FIRST CREDIBLE WITNESSES TO THE RESURRECTION - NO ONE WOULD TAKE THEIR TESTIMONY AS CREDIBLE IN THE 1ST CENTURY THEY WERE 2ND CLASS CITIZENS . AND THEY CLEARLY DIDN’T EXPECT THE RESURRECTION THEY WENT TO ANOINT A DEAD BODY - EVEN THOUGH JESUS HAD TOLD THEM ALL ON A NUMBER OF OCCASIONS HE WOULD RISE FROM THE DEAD!

THE WHOLE SITUATION HAS LEFT THEM AFRAID AND BEWILDERED; THE WOMEN WENT OUT AND FLED FROM THE TOMB. IT ENDS SO ABRUPTLY WITH THE WOMEN SAYING NOTHING TO ANYONE. THIS TESTIMONY BEARS ALL THE HALLMARKS OF AUTHENTIC RESURRECTION. MARK IS LEAVING US HERE WITH A SENSE OF AWE AND WONDER. AS THE SUN HAS RISEN THAT FIRST EASTER MORNING - SO THE SON OF GOD WILL RISE IN THE HEARTS OF THESE WOMEN BRINGING REAL HOPE.

ANYBODY WHO REMAINS DEVOTED TO JESUS THROUGH THE DARK TIMES WILL BE REWARDED WITH REAL HOPE - THE RESURRECTION BRINGS. SO LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT HOW THEIR DEVOTION WAS DEMONSTRATED TOWARDS JESUS.

1. THE WOMEN PERSEREVERED WITH JESUS 1- 3.

THE WOMEN REMAINED DEVOTED TO JESUS THROUGH THE DARKEST TIMES. THEY WERE WITH JESUS THROUGHOUT HIS MINISTRY - THEIR LOVE FOR JESUS HAD LASTED AND STOOD THE TEST OF TIME THEY WERE THERE WHEN JESUS WAS CRUCIFIED THE DARKEST POINT WHEN OTHERS HAD FLED 15:40 – THEY WERE THERE WHEN THE BODY HAD BEEN TAKEN DOWN AND PLACED IN THE TOMB 15:47 AND THEY WOULD CONTINUE TO PERSEVERE SHOWING THEIR DEVOTION AS THEY GO TO ANOINT THE BODY.

WHEN ALL SEEMED LOST, AT A TIME OF GRIEF - IT WOULD TURN OUT TO BE THE BRIGHTEST POINT OF ALL. THROUGH THE GOOD TIMES – AND THROUGH THE BAD THE LOVE FOR JESUS HAD LASTED.


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