April 19, 2022

“He Is Not Here”

Mark 16:1-8

“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here.”

—  Mark 16:6

Sometimes we might wonder if the Easter story could have gone differently. Maybe something like this: “He has risen, and—look—here he is!” And then there could have been cries of amazement, hugs, tears of joy, and dancing. What a great time that could have been!

But instead the announcement was “He is not here. . . . He is going ahead of you into Galilee.”

What? He’s not here?

There is no invitation to stay at the tomb. The invitation is to go and follow where Jesus is leading.

So let’s not make a shrine of the tomb or turn the stone into a potential object of adoration. This is not where we need to stay. We need to be following the risen Lord.

As Mark’s gospel comes quickly to a close, we are directed away from the tomb to realize that the story has not ended. Instead, the story continues in the lives of everyone who will follow Jesus into the world. It is as if the resurrection is opening a doorway to an entirely new life that is yet to unfold for Jesus’ followers—including you and me.

Today, because Jesus has risen, your life can take a new course and have a new purpose.

Jesus, I can often feel like I simply want to stay where I am in life or else go my own way. Help me to live a new life, following your leading and guiding. Amen.

About the author — Douglas MacLeod

Rev. Douglas MacLeod is a church pastor in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has served as a pastor for over 36 years with five congregations in Michigan and Iowa. He and Cathy, his wife of 40+ years, are grateful for their three children and four grandchildren.

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