Empty Tomb

Steven Bouma-Prediger

READ : Mark 16:1-8

He has been raised; he is not here. (v. 6)

Jesus had been raised? This was not what the women were expecting. Coming early that morning to anoint Jesus’ body with spices, a common practice in that day to ward off the smell of decomposing flesh, the women find, instead of a body, an empty tomb. A young man in a white robe tells them not to be afraid. Not be afraid? Seriously?

They must have been scared to death, and stunned, and full of questions. He is not here? Raised from the dead? We will see him in Galilee? Just as he told us? One can easily imagine them, with beating hearts and racing minds, peppering the strange young man with questions and then fleeing from the tomb, gripped with terror and amazement.

That last line was especially puzzling. What had Jesus told them to prepare them for this? Slowly sentences from their memory coalesced in their minds:

The Son of Man must undergo great suffering . . . be rejected . . . be killed, and
after three days rise again. (8:31)

Could it be true? Not a failed but a vindicated Messiah? The Messiah-king enthroned on a cross outside the city gates? Resurrection of One as a divine promissory note for resurrection of all? It was true, and is true. Praise God from whom all blessings


Lord Jesus, may we live in the glorious shadow of your resurrection.