Summary: What began as a day of doubt and fear became a day of victory, hope, and rejoicing. Jesus had been crucified, and the women came to anoint His body. They soon heard the words that have resonated for centuries: He is not here; He is risen!
Triumph at the Tomb
Mark 16: 1-8
Today is a special day in the hearts of believers around the world. It is the day we celebrate the glorious resurrection of our Lord, the very foundation of the Christian faith.
It was a glorious day when the angel proclaimed to the shepherds that the Messiah had come to earth. I am thankful for His virgin birth, but without the finished work of Christ our hope would be in vain. Had it not been for the suffering and substitutionary atonement, we would still be in our sins. Had it not been for His victory over death, hell, and the grave, in resurrection, we would have no hope of eternal life.
Today is the day we celebrate the fulfillment of God’s promises to redeem us back to Him. We are privileged to be able to look back on the events of that first Easter morning. It was a day that began with much doubt and despair, but ended with rejoicing and hope. It is this day so many years ago that stands as our promise of redemption and resurrection.
Let’s take a few moments this morning and journey back to that borrowed tomb where Jesus’ dead body was laid. As we examine the details of that day, I want to consider: Triumph at the Tomb.
I. A Morning of Obscurity (1-3) – We must understand the context of this fateful morning. The events of the past few days had left Jesus’ followers numb and confused. Their faith had been tested and they were searching for answers. Things had not happened as they thought they would. So what can we discover about this morning of obscurity in the lives of these women?
A. Their Pain (1) – And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. Keep in mind that these were women who had enjoyed a close relationship with Christ. They believed He was the promised Messiah. They had heard the words of the Lord, and witnessed the miracles. Their lives had been transformed by this Man, and yet He had been taken away, crucified and buried.
It seemed as if their hopes and dreams had been buried with Him. The one in whom they placed their trust had been taken away, seemingly much before His time. He had not fulfilled all they hoped He would. The Romans were still in power and their lives were now in jeopardy for their faith. They have come to do all that they feel is left – anoint His body, and provide a means of honor and respect for the one they loved so dearly. We see a picture of utter devastation and intense pain in their hearts.
B. Their Passion (2) – And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. They rose very early in the morning and come unto the tomb. They were committed to doing all they could to ensure a proper burial for one who had been so abused and rejected. No doubt they were concerned for their safety, as Jerusalem was in an uproar concerning Christ. They must’ve seen the crowds as they cried, Crucify! They must’ve known the words of disdain spoken as the crowds passed by His battered body on the cross. Some had heard the words of the malefactors as they railed on Him to prove His deity and power. I’m sure the images of those horrid scenes were still fresh in their minds, but they were undeterred. They loved the Lord deeply and were only concerned with bringing what honor they could to Him.
The passion of these women challenged my heart. We live in a day where most have no desire to honor the Lord. We live in a “take it or leave it” society. Many will not even consider the great sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf this Easter Sunday. As we are reminded of our Lord’s sacrifice and resurrection, may our passion for Him be renewed and a new found commitment be born within our hearts! Acts 20:24 – But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
C. Their Perspective (3) – And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? As the women made their way to the tomb, they were concerned with their physical limitations. They were not looking for a resurrected Lord, but focused on a stone that stood in the way. They had not come expecting to find the Lord risen as He said, but were consumed with the apparent problem at hand. They could see the death, but not the deliverance.