Sunday, April 8, 2012

Resurrection Sunday: Easter!

Happy Easter to all!!  I hope you have had a wonderful day of beautiful church services, family time, Easter lunches, egg hunting, and easter bunny visits.  But yes, its not about the bunny.  I traveled back from my Grandmother's and am now nestled at home and hoping tomorrow won't be Monday.  But I'm pretty sure that just because it's Easter, God didn't change the order of the days of the week.  And just to let you all know, my sister Caroline said to tell you all hi! :)

For the final end (beginning) of our story of Passion week......

On this day 2000 years ago.......

Mark 16

The Resurrection
 1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. 2Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3 and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”
 4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.
 6 “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”
 8 Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.
   [The earliest manuscripts and some other ancient witnesses do not have Mark 16:9–20.]
 9 When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. 11 When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it.
 12 Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. 13 These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either.
 14 Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.
 15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
 19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

I told you it had a happy ending :)

 So Mary and Mary Magdalene were walking probably sadly in the ever-looming silence of his death as they go to put spices on the body of Jesus, when they walk up to the tomb and the stone bigger than they were is rolled away from the tomb.  This stone was not easy to get out either: it was practically in a skinny rectangular hole with stairs leading down on either sides to the actual tomb at the bottom.

Layout of Jesus' tomb (the squarish thing is the stone)

The rock was basically immovable once in unless you had some really strong ropes and a crane.  This is probably why they were wondering how the stone would be moved.  Then they arrive to find that not only is the stone already moved, there is an angel (or a young boy in a white robe) standing there and telling them, "Don't be scared, You're looking for Jesus who was crucified.  He has risen!  He is not here.  See the place where they laid him?  Go tell Peter and the disciples!"  First of all, how did he know who they were looking for, and everything that had happened to him?  And what does he mean by he is risen?  And how could that small boy move such a big stone?  They were obviously frightened and confused, but when they see the tomb, it all makes sense!  They were still scared, but why?  Because the people were against Jesus (they had killed him, right?) and would not be very happy to know he had risen from the dead!  They were probably so shocked and relieved and excited and happy and scared, they couldn't speak anyways.  Then when Mary Magdalene sees him, (he had by the way driven not 1, not 2, but 7 demons out of her) she is so happy but no one believes her.  They are probably all still stuck in the silence of his death as they were crying at the time and believe she's teasing them or delirious or something.  Then he turns up and talks to the others in a different form.  Just walking and talking about Jesus when in reality, he's standing right there with them!  But yet no one believes them either.  When he appears to the disciples, he rebukes them for not believing he was alive.  They had not only not believed Mary and Mary magdalene, but had stubbornly refused to believe it.  When it says eleven disciples though, Judas had killed himself in regret of what he had done.  
But then Jesus doesn't go on telling about how he had gotten back or any of the crazy details of the past couple of days, but teaches them one final time with wise words.  He was then taken up into heaven, like Elijah, and sat at the right hand side of God.  Wait a second.... he didn't go up in the Roman's faces and show he was alive and well?  He didn't walk past all the people who spit on him without making them realize he was alive?  What's up with this guy?!?!?!  I believe he left that job to the disciples, but to do it in a loving manner.  We must also keep in mind that it was illegal to follow Christ at that point in time, so it would've also made them want to kill him again in a different way, I suppose.

And that is the end of our Passion Week stories.  But as I have said, it is truly only the beginning.  Thank you for reading this week and keeping up!  I may not be able to post for a while as these upcoming weeks look really busy, so I will try to post but we'll see how that goes......

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