Jesus suffered for our sins and died. But, wondrously, the story did not end there. What happened on the third day is pretty amazing.
Tomb, thou shalt not hold Him longer;
Death is strong, but Life is stronger;
Stronger than the dark, the light;
Stronger than the wrong, the right…
(Phillips Brooks, “An Easter Carol”)
READ THE WORD: MARK 15:42-16:8 (ESV)
42 And when evening had come, since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath, 43 Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 44 Pilate was surprised to hear that he should have already died. And summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he was already dead. 45 And when he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the corpse to Joseph. 46 And Joseph bought a linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud and laid him in a tomb that had been cut out of the rock. And he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. 47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid.
16 When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. 2 And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. 3 And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” 4 And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back— it was very large. 5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. 6 And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.” 8 And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- Who are the characters in this passage, and what did each do, or intend to do, with Jesus’ body?
- What did the young man say to the women about where Jesus was (vss. 16:5-8)? What instructions did he give them?
- How would you have reacted to an empty tomb? How does this event change your perception of Jesus?
- The three women in this passage didn’t tell anyone that Jesus had risen from the dead, “for they were afraid” (vs. 8). What were they afraid of?
- Do you ever tell anyone in your life about Jesus being alive—raised from the dead? Why or why not? Are you afraid?
RESPOND TO GOD
He is risen! Jesus did exactly what he said he would do: suffer, be rejected, mocked, spit upon, flogged, and put to death (Mark 8:31, 9:31, 10:33-34). Everything that Jesus said came true. But he is alive, and the Risen Christ demands a response. Have you accepted the living Jesus? Are there others in your life that need to hear about the Resurrection and the living Jesus from you?
- Take courage that Jesus is alive and that he arose from the dead. Thank Jesus that he is risen.
- Ask God to give you courage to serve the living Jesus.