Today's Reading: Mark 16:1-8
He said to them, "Do not be amazed! You're seeking Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified. He was raised; He's not here. Look, the place where they laid Him!" (Mark 16:6)
He is risen indeed! Alleluia! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. He was dead--stone-cold dead. They saw Him die. The Roman equivalent of a death certificate had been signed: "And when Pilate found out from the centurion, he gave the corpse to Joseph" (Mark 15:45). Both Marys saw exactly where Joseph laid their dear friend and teacher's body.
They weren't confused. They didn't land themselves, lost in grief, at the wrong grave. They knew precisely where they were going. They led Salome there. But what were they to do? "Who will roll away the stone for us?" (Mark 16:3) "It was really large" (Mark 16:4).
But the "sun was rising" (Mark 16:2) to reveal that the Son had already risen! The stone-cold tomb wasn't locked up tightly at all! The stone was rolled away (Mark 16:4). There was an angelic messenger, in white robes, who said, "He was raised. He's not here" (Mark 16:5-6).
The eyewitness testimony of that messenger and those women is the foundation of our Christian faith, and that message is the source of our joy and happiness today, and this joy, this Easter joy, is unending--lasting forever! The song of praise never dies because Christ is alive! We live, too! He's not dead anymore. One day we won't be, either! The angel pointed those women to the spot where Jesus was laid, and it was empty-no body! That'll be your grave, too!
Jesus doesn't want this message, this Gospel, to remain silent. He wanted those women to know, so He sent the angel. He wanted His disciples to know, so the women were to tell them. He wants you to know, too, and so He's sent you His messenger, your pastor, to tell you the same thing: "Jesus was dead but not anymore! He did it for you."
You've been baptized into His death and resurrection. Now you are clothed in white robes, too! You're clothed with Jesus--His payment for sins and His resurrection. You will die, but you'll live, soul and body, because you're clothed with Jesus, and He's alive now and forever. He is risen indeed! Alleluia! In the + Name of Jesus. Amen.
'Tis the spring of souls today: Christ hath burst His prison, And from three days' sleep in death As a sun has risen; All the winter of our sins, Long and dark, is flying From His light, to whom is giv'n Laud and praise undying. (Come,You Faithful, Raise the Strain, LSB 487:2)