3 Life-Changing Headlines from the Resurrection

The empty tomb is first discovered by three women. They visited prepared with anointing spices, expecting to find a corpse. What they found changed the course of world history.

In this somewhat abrupt ending to Mark’s gospel account, we can detect three outstanding phrases that stop us in our tracks:

1. “Jesus of Nazareth”

Of all the titles the angel could have referred to Jesus, he chose to identify him as a man from a small town. He was in many ways, just like us. Yet this has dramatic implications for how we view the resurrection, and it’s relevance for us. If a human being can come alive after death, then maybe there is hope for us.

2. “And Peter”

Peter had failed Jesus miserably, denying him emphatically in public three times. Yet the angel’s special inclusion “and Peter” showed that even someone who has radically denied Jesus and rejected him can be restored. That is great news for those of us who think we are too bad or lost for Jesus to take us back. These two words suggest otherwise.

3. “He is going ahead of you”

The resurrection was not the end of the story, but can be understood as the opening of a new chapter. There was a mission that the disciples were called and trained for. And now Jesus regathers the team to send them out on a live mission. Training is over.

Yet his disciples know that Jesus goes ahead of them; mission is effectively following Jesus wherever he takes us. This grows courage and fortitude as we continue the mission he calls all disciples to participate in.

Main Text

Mark 16:1-8


David Varney, pastor Foundation Church Belfast