June 30, 2009

The Hope of the Resurrection

Mark 16:1-8

“He has risen!”
Mark 16:6


For many of us, the fear of death is our greatest fear. No matter how hard we try, we cannot avoid death’s frightening reality.

Death seems like the last and greatest enemy. But the good news is that in Jesus’ resurrection God has provided the solution to death and to the fear of death.

In our reading for today, what the women planned to do was not pretty, but it was an act of devotion to Jesus to see that he had a proper burial. Because he had been crucified just before sundown on Friday, there hadn’t been time to properly anoint and prepare his body for burial before their holy Sabbath day. So “when the Sabbath was over,” the women bought spices and went to anoint Jesus’ body, according to their custom.

But things didn’t go as planned. Arriving at the tomb, the women were greeted by an angel, who told them something that transformed their lives and changed the world. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified,” said the angel. “He has risen! He is not here.” In an instant their entire understanding of life and death began to change. Jesus had gone from life to death to new life. His resurrection became death’s defeat, and in the light of that, Paul could write, “Death has been swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:54).

Christ is risen—for you! Do you believe that?

Father, thank you for the assurance that Jesus has risen from the dead, and that we also will rise because we believe in him. Thank you for the promise of new life forever in you. Amen.

About the author — R. Scott Greenway

R. Scott Greenway was born in Mexico City in 1964, the fourth child of missionary parents. He graduated from Calvin College in 1986, Calvin Theological Seminary in 1991, and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in 2002. He and his wife, Kelly, have four children. He pastored the Irving Park Christian Reformed Church in Midland Park, New Jersey, and currently serves as pastor of Caledonia Christian Reformed Church in Michigan. He enjoys a variety of outdoor sports, including hunting and fishing.

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