December 07, 2009


Mark 16:1-11

When they heard that Jesus was alive … they did not believe it.
Mark 16:11


Have you seen a dodo lately? Are there any woolly mammoths roaming the countryside? Did you come across any saber-tooth tigers in your travels recently? All these animals have been extinct for years. They are dead and will not be coming back anytime soon. What’s dead is dead.

The disciples were convinced that with the death of Jesus, their dreams, hopes, and future were dead as well. As they saw Jesus carried into the tomb, they experienced the death of everything they had thought about Jesus. Far from changing the world, Jesus seemed to be just another “messiah” who had come up short. The cold reality was that their dream of a new world was now lifeless. Jesus was dead. End of story.

When our own stories and dreams have ended, that’s often when Jesus makes a powerful appearance in our lives. The women were certain that their only job was to prepare the corpse of their teacher for burial. Instead, they received an incredible invitation: Bring the good news to the disillusioned disciples who thought Jesus was gone forever. Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene with the news that he is alive. Really? Yes! Yes!

When life is swallowed up by death and extinction, Jesus uses the materials of our lives and produces resurrection. He can bring dead things back to life. Believe it!

Jesus, the amazing story of resurrection is so hard to believe. Please help me in my unbelief, convince me you are alive, and help me to share this good news with others. Amen.

About the author — Reginald Smith

Dr. Reginald Smith is senior pastor at Roosevelt Park Community Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he has served for seventeen years. He has also served as a pastor in Paterson, New Jersey. He and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, Janelle, Katrina, and Mariah.

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