April 12, 2020

Jesus at Large

Mark 15:40-16:8

“You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here.” . . . They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.

—  Mark 16:6, 8

Some women watched from a distance as Jesus died on the cross. They had followed him for years and had “cared for his needs.” They loved him. They also saw Joseph take down Jesus’ body and wrap it in linen. They followed and saw Joseph lay Jesus in a tomb and then roll a stone across the entrance.

After the Sabbath they came back as soon as possible. They would care for him in death as they had in life. They were so intent they almost forgot about the stone blocking the tomb.

But when they arrived, they saw that the stone had been moved—and someone was in the tomb! “Don’t be alarmed,” said a young man dressed in white (an angel), but they had little time to be afraid of him. Jesus was missing! More accurately, Jesus had escaped.

The women did what anyone else would do in a tomb where a dead body had gotten up and walked away—they ran!

Every time we think we have Jesus figured out, Mark throws in a twist. That’s because Jesus never follows our rules. He’s powerful and unpredictable—and that’s unsettling to the way we would like to live. That’s why the authorities killed him. But that didn’t stop him either—then or now. Jesus is alive, and he could turn up at any moment, anywhere, and turn our world upside down.

Dear Jesus, I have to admit there are times when you scare me. You change all of the things that need to change, and I’m scared to let some things go. Please be gentle and gracious as you change me. Amen.

About the author — Scott DeVries

Scott DeVries has served as a church pastor and as a ministry ­coordinator in the Holland, Michigan, area. He currently works at ­facilitating connections between the more than twenty ministries and 1,100 churches of the Christian Reformed Church in North America. He has a passion for prayer, church organization, and studying the Scriptures in their original languages.

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