The resurrected Savior

The accounts of the resurrection are very familiar to us.  And because of that, it’s easy to miss the reason for the account — like every other Gospel passage, the resurrection is given to provide us information about the Savior so that we will worship Him.

The advantage of the shortest of the resurrection accounts (Mk. 16:1-8) is that it condenses the story, providing us with the essence of Christ.  Here are the most basic attributes of Christ that invite our praise and adoration.

He is a powerful Savior (vv. 4, 6).  The women came to the tomb with no expectation of Christ’s resurrection.  We know that because they were concerned about who might roll the stone away (v. 3).  They did not expect the resurrection, because they were coming to add spices to Christ’s body (v. 1).  And their bodily posture — walking with heads down (v. 4) — reflected the dejection in their hearts.  They had no consideration that Christ might be resurrected.  Such an event was wholly inconceivable to them.  Yet, Christ was resurrected.  The joyful news, “He is not here” is confirmation of the power of Christ.  During the course of His ministry, He’d demonstrated power over various illnesses, demons, and nature.  He’d even resuscitated others from death.  But Christ’s self-resurrection demonstrated a kind of power the world had never seen.  He is a powerful Savior.

He is an amazing Savior (vv. 5, 8).  The women saw the angels and were amazed and fearful.  When they saw the angels and considered the reality of Christ’s resurrection, they were, as one commentator suggests, “beyond a state of self-control.”  They experienced joyful ecstasy combined with fear.  They were dumbfounded.  And they experienced all these emotions because there is no one else like the Savior.  While the word is too-often overused, He really is amazing.  So the comprehension of what He had done produced these worshipful kinds of responses.

He is a forgiving Savior (v. 7).  The sentence, “Go, tell his disciples and Peter…” is one of my favorite sentences in the resurrection account.  On Thursday evening/Friday morning Peter had bitterly and vehemently denied Christ three times, and the first message from Jesus to the disciples (through the angels) was, “I’m going to meet the disciples — including Peter.”  Here is grace.  Here is the offer and provision of forgiveness.  Here is the kindness of God and the power of the cross.  Without Christ and without the cross and without the resurrection, there is no hope for forgiveness.  But with the resurrection, there is confidence that every sin can be forgiven and redeemed.

Commentator William Hendriksen provides a fitting concluding comment:  “Mark’s gospel is filled with unforgettable manifestations of Christ’s power, mercy, and love. The great lesson which we learn from the present section is that not only did Jesus rise victoriously from the grave, but in addition he revealed himself to be the same thoughtful, kind, and loving Lord he had shown himself to be in earlier days.  For that good news we should be very thankful.” [p. 682.]

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