For while we were yet weak, in due season Christ died for the ungodly. Rom. 5,6



Mark 16:1-8

   "1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might come and anoint Him. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen 3 They were saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?" 4 Looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away, although it was extremely large. 5 Entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe; and they were amazed. 6 And he said to them, "Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him. 7 "But go, tell His disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He told you.'" 8 They went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had gripped them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

   The first we shall - and ought to - notice here is these peoples' relationship to Jesus. He is dead and one can, from a human point of view, say that He did not "answered to the expectations." - They had believed it would have been something more out of it than this. The Roman power and the seductive spirit of religiousness, appeared to be to strong for Him too, as far as they now could see. - But they could not let Him go. Hearts and thoughts were taken up with Jesus. Him whom they had wandered together with, and received impressions from, in about three years.
   When we read, here and elsewhere, about these people who had been close to Him, it is impossible not to notice this heartfelt relationship they had to Him.
   "Very early
on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen." (v.2).
   Yes very early, as soon as it began to dawn, they came
to Him. Which shows that they did not delay by no means, but came as early as possible.
   Do you
see this?

   "When the sun had risen." (v.2).
   What they now was in the midst of, without being fully aware of it, was that the true spiritual sun, which shall give light when light of lamp and light of sun is not needed anymore
(Rev. 22:5), already had raised for them.
   That was why they had to get out to the grave, out there where Jesus was, despite He was dead. Because, even If He stood alive for them - in their hearts and minds - He was after all, also to them, dead.
   Therefore they were convinced that they were handed over to themselves, because one - as known - do not expect anything from a dead.
   Later on they should witness with the apostle: "- since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance."
(Heb. 9:15). And: "Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin. (Heb. 10:18).
   No, this is the sacrificial lamb, He is the guilt offering!

death which now stood before them as the great tragedy of their lives, and got the heart to turn over within them by compassion with Jesus, He whom they loved so deeply, exactly that was their rescue, their salvation, their eternal entrance into the kingdom of God! - Precisely because of that, nothing could close heaven for them any more.

   Exactly because of
that, they could pride themselves against everything and all, which would condemn and accuse. Who can settle a higher price, to get us into the bondage again, than that which is paid to ransom us?
   " - knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.
(1 Pet. 1:18-19).
   A Christian is accordingly one who is
bought free from his inherited futile way of life. Your freedom is a paid freedom.
   You thought so often, that you should get to own it at that basis, that you overcome your inherited futile way of life. But it is exactly from that you are
bought free! It is there, and every day afresh you find it in all conceivable and unconceivable shapes and situations, but "a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant" and "where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin!" (Heb. 9:15; 10:18).
was what the women now grieved at!
   It is often like this in Gods Kingdom, that what looks like the greatest hindrance is precisely what is needed to a true help and rescue for us.

   It is so characteristic what we read about them here in the third verse: "They were saying to one another..." - Yes, exactly one another. That is also so often our way. Most certainly, to often to soon we consult one another, instead of awaiting the Lord. And what was the question? "Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?" A worried mind, who is not familiar with that? Yes, who should do that? He who hears before we pray! "Looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away." (v.4).
   Maybe you are one, who just today, need to
look up? When Jesus talks about the very last days on earth - a time full of all kinds of reasons to look down, if one is considering the surroundings - He says: "Straighten up and lift up your heads!" (Luke 21:28). Because we have surely got something else to fix our eyes on, than those who only have placed their confidence in this earthly.

   It is something we absolutely are too little aware of - that God has His own plans! "Himself to honour and us to good," as it goes by the name of in a song.
   We often live as if He does not do other things than what we at any time invent to ask Him for. The reality is after all, that everything that we ask in truth, and by heart, that is just urged on by Him. He is in all things the beginning and the end.

   What these women were worrying about, was already done! And then they received from the Lord much more than what they could think to ask for. They get this greeting from the heavenly delegate. And what says he? First of all what we just have emphasized: "you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified." (v.6a).
   Yes, in truth, they were seeking Jesus from Nazareth! But they were looking for Him in
the grave.
   You must never ever lend ear to those, who on all kinds of strange ways, rejects
the death of Jesus - "He is after all not dead any longer it is said, you shall not dwell upon the death on the cross, but upon His resurrection."
   Certainly it sounds beautifully, but the serpent can disguises himself as an angel of light, as known.
(2 Cor. 11:14).
   Think of what the apostle, among other things, reminds us about, what the death of Jesus concerns. What we just read from Hebrews. And when Paul speaks about the receiving of the bread and wine during The Lords supper, he says exactly: "As often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim
the Lord's death until He comes." (1 Cor. 11:26). This death to our redemption!

   What you shall not lend your ear to, what the death of Jesus concerns, is the speech that says that He stayed in the grave. He has really risen - but important here - it is the crucified (that means, He who died because of our sin), who is risen.
   Also He Himself reminds John - the of fear benumbed one - about this in Revelation 1:17-18: "Do not be afraid! --- I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore." Therefore this: Do not be afraid!
I was certainly dead!

   "He is not here," says the angel. Not here in the grave. "Behold, here is the place where they laid Him!" (v.6).
   What should they see there, and who laid Him there? We can say that quite physically it was Jesus‘ friends who placed Him there, Josef from Arimathea among others, but basically it was after all Jesus' - and our - enemies who had laid Him there, and what did the angel want them to see by looking at the place where they laid Him? That He no longer is where His enemies laid Him! He is not here, He has risen!
   And now, go with the message: "But go, tell His disciples and Peter."
   I guess you too have noticed that Peter - he who most evidently had fallen through during the process against Jesus - here gets a special greeting, or, is saluted especially from
the Lord. The angel says after all nothing more than what the Lord has instructed him to say.
   Peter, so scrupled and so low down after his fall - but like these women in our text, he could just not let go of Jesus, such as e.g. Judas could - needed a special encouragement, and
he got it! "When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul." (Psalm 94:19). And: "He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds." (Psalm 147:3).
   That the psalmist here brings a true testimony about the Lord, is after all - among other things - confirmed by His care for Peter here.
   The Word of the Lord stands firm, as the angel too underlines here:
"There you will see Him, just as He told you." (v.7). In other words: "Place confidence in His Word!"

   As He was towards Peter, that is how He also is towards you today. He does not make invidious distinctions towards people.
   For what purpose do you think these things about Peter, is written here in the Scripture? Peter has after all no use for it any longer. It is written down because others have use for it. Maybe just you now! The Scripture is in all parts a testimony about
Him. It is all there for this purpose only - that your eyes shall get opened for Him.
   May also these words have served that purpose!


Holy Bible, New American Standard Version