Jesus rises from the tomb. He appears to many. Our mission begins.
VERSE 1. When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, that they might come and anoint him.
Mary … and Mary … and Salome. It is the women who act with great courage and great faith. Where are the men? They are in the Upper Room, cowering in fear.
Mark 15:47. Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Joses, saw where he was laid.
Of all the immediate followers of Jesus, it was only Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses (“James”) who had the courage to go to Christ’s burial. All the men had fled for their very lives.
that they might come and anoint him. These women set out on a mission. They were going to anoint a dead body.
they came to the tomb. These two women took a great step of faith. They stepped out. Not knowing all the answers did not prevent them from going.
If we wait until we have all the answers, we will never step out. Rather, we simply step out in faith. As we go, the answers will appear. That’s how it was for the ten men who were healed of leprosy:
Luke 17:14. When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” As they went, they were cleansed.
VERSE 3. They were saying among themselves, “Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?”
the stone was rolled back. We imagine the women were filled with wonder. How could this have happened?
VERSE 5. Entering into the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were amazed.
VERSE 6. He said to them, “Don’t be amazed. You seek Jesus, the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen. He is not here. Behold, the place where they laid him!
Don’t be amazed. An amazing thing has happened. The task for these believers is to believe, rather than call it into doubt.
VERSE 7. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He goes before you into Galilee. There you will see him, as he said to you.’ ”
VERSE 8. They went out, and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had come on them. They said nothing to anyone; for they were afraid.
VERSE 9. Now when he had risen early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons.
he appeared first to Mary Magdalene. Jesus rewards the great faith of Mary Magdalene. She was one of the women who acted with great courage and great faith, whilst the men cowered in fear.
VERSE 10. She went and told those who had been with him, as they mourned and wept.
they disbelieved. Even after hearing a firsthand account from a reputable person, the men refused to believe.
VERSE 12. After these things he was revealed in another form to two of them, as they walked, on their way into the country.
on their way into the country. This is the famous incident on the road to Emma’s, captured in Luke chapter 24.
VERSE 13. They went away and told it to the rest. They didn’t believe them, either.
VERSE 14. Afterward he was revealed to the eleven themselves as they sat at the table, and he rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they didn’t believe those who had seen him after he had risen.
Go into all the world. We believers are called to go. We are to go out from ourselves toward those who do not know Jesus Christ.
Christians often talk about not going, unless God gives them some explicit sign that they must go. However, biblically, the reverse is true. We should go, unless God gives us a miraculous sign to stay.
preach the Good News. We Christians are to preach the explicit Good News of Jesus Christ.
However, many of us shy away from that. Instead, we see our mission as to be kind or to give money to charitable institutions. Then we congratulate ourselves for preaching the gospel without words.
The Lord Jesus calls us to take his Gospel to the whole world. Here are the key Bible verses about this »
VERSE 17. These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new languages;
signs will accompany those who believe. The apostles cast out demons, spoke in tongues, handled snakes, were unharmed by poisons, and healed the sick.
And they have been fulfilled in every generation since then, in the lives of the heroes of the faith, the great missionaries and preachers and mystics and saints.
Yet in our day, many Christians object to any possibility of the miraculous. They say stories of miracles are either exaggerations or fables.
However, the claims of the Bible are more likely true than not. Jesus said we have to be like a child to enter the kingdom of God. How would a child understand the verse? It’s more likely that God’s promises are true, as a child might understand them, than that God has deceived us.
If you believe in Jesus Christ, are you an agent of the miracles that Jesus spoke of? Are the leaders of your church? Is anyone?
How can you grow more childlike in accepting the claims of the Bible?
VERSE 18. they will take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it will in no way hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
This was literally fulfilled in St. Paul:
Acts 28:5. However he shook off the creature into the fire, and wasn’t harmed.
And this verse was certainly fulfilled in the lives of the apostles.
And in subsequent generations as well, in all lands throughout the world. We see evidence of that in the lives of the saints and mystics, the missionaries and great preachers.
Sometimes we hear people call into question any possibility of the miraculous, even though the Bible clearly describes miracles as real.
We assert that the claims of the Bible are more likely true than not. Jesus said we have to be like a child to enter the kingdom of God. How would a child understand the verse? It’s more likely that God’s promises are true, as a child might understand them, than that God has deceived us.
The last sentence of the verse says this: “They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Once again, we see that fulfilled in the lives of the apostles. We also see it fulfilled in the lives of the saints and mystics, the missionaries and preachers.
How can you grow in accepting the claims of the New Testament?
VERSE 19. So then the Lord, after he had spoken to them, was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.
at the right hand of God. The Bible often mentions “the right hand” of God. That is a position of power and honor. We believe it refers to Jesus Christ.
John 10:16. I have other sheep, which are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will hear my voice. They will become one flock with one shepherd.
VERSE 20. They went out, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word by the signs that followed. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.