“Don’t be alarmed. . . . You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.”
— Mark 16:6
The women who went to the tomb on Sunday were expecting to find a corpse. They went there to carry out the unpleasant task of anointing Jesus’ body with spices, even though they were not sure if they could get into the tomb.
I like how the book of Mark says they were on their way to the tomb “just after sunrise.” A new age was already beginning as the women made their way to a remarkable discovery. Instead of a closed tomb with a dead body in it, they found the stone rolled away from the entrance and “a young man dressed in a white robe.” “And they were alarmed.”
I imagine they wondered if they were even at the right tomb. But the angel was quick to assure them that they were at the right tomb and that he knew they were looking for the crucified Jesus. And the angel announced, “He has risen!”
This would have been far more than the visitors could process quickly. So it’s no wonder they were confused and afraid after hearing everything the angel had told them.
As we learn from other accounts of Jesus’ resurrection, a lot more happened later (see the closing chapters of Matthew, Luke, and John). But here in Mark we are invited to wonder what would happen next. And in the coming days we’ll focus a bit more on what the angel said and how we can peer into the new day that has dawned.
Christ has risen!
Lord, fill us with new life in Jesus, who rose for us. Thank you! Amen.