4 April 2021Mark 16:1-18
So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid. (v. 8)
The four Gospels offer important evidence for the Resurrection. Interestingly, they all emphasise the disciples' surprise, astonishment, fear and confusion. None of them describe the moment of Resurrection. That part of the narrative for them and for us is suspense. Rather, as in this passage, they raise awareness that something very unusual has occurred, culminating in the three women fleeing from the tomb in terror and amazement.
Charles Moule was a leading scholar of the New Testament at Cambridge University. At the end of a lecture an undergraduate once called out, ‘’Professor, do you believe in the Resurrection?’’ After a pause he replied, ‘’In my experience the size of the crater is proportionate to the force of the impact. Look at how many people follow Jesus today.’’
Today hundreds of millions find themselves deeply influenced by the force of Easter’s impact. The energy of that moment continues to create an ever-enlarging crater whose centre can be seen here: the first disciples fleeing from the empty tomb.
Many 21st-century Christians find these gospel accounts continue to have a compelling, curious ring of truth. Not because they always harmonise, but because they honestly struggle to find the language to express faith in the Resurrection: that after the Cross there was life; after the tomb there was a rolled stone; after darkness there was light, and after hatred there was love.
Today, we are all invited to discover Easter’s Resurrection ‘force and impact’, and with countless millions declare, “Alleluia, Christ is Alive!”
- Mark writes, ‘‘They said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.’’ (v. 8) Before long, those early disciples would however, be witnesses to the Resurrection. What do you think changed their minds?
- How might you explain the force of Easter’s impact that has created so many disciples?
- Today, how might you act or speak declaring hope and transformation?