Today’s Reading: Mark 16:1-8
And they went out and fled the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them. . . (Mark 16:8)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Christ is risen! So shall you be! Historically Mark, who wrote this Gospel, has been recorded as the one who fled away naked from Jesus on the night of Jesus’ betrayal. Imagine that for a minute. Seeing your Lord and Master being betrayed with a kiss of peace, put into shackles and hauled off to trial. Imagine the fear that gripped Mark and the disciples. Fear that was so intense that Mark would rather run away naked in public than be caught up with Jesus in suffering.
Fear and trembling gripped the disciples, just as fear and trembling gripped the women on that first Easter morning. Fear and trembling grips us in the throes of life as well. Changes, decay, chaos, confusion, and death are looming all around us. Our fears can get the best of us and our trembling can cause us to run away from the Lord’s work. It happened to the disciples, to the women, and it happens to you.
Yet within all of the fear, trembling, and astonishment, the simple words of a young man ring out for us today: “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here” (Mark 16:6). The man sitting with the white robe in the empty tomb foreshadows you on the day of the resurrection of all flesh. You shall not die eternally, but you shall live. You have received the robe of Christ’s righteousness that covers all your sin. You are baptized into Christ’s death and resurrection. Fears, trembling, and astonishment subside as Christ tells you today, “Peace be with you!” You are forgiven, you are restored. Christ is risen, He is risen indeed, and so shall you rise. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
O God, for our redemption You gave Your only-begotten Son to the death of the cross and by His glorious resurrection delivered us from the power of the enemy. Grant that all our sin may be drowned through daily repentance and that day by day we may arise to live before You in righteousness and purity forever; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (Collect for the Resurrection of Our Lord)
-Rev. Kent Schaaf is pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Little Rock, AR.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch
Over eight sessions, The Messiah: Revealing Jesus in the Old Testament will lead you through the entirety of the Old Testament with daily readings, questions, and discussion prompts. After a brief introduction that reviews Christ’s earthly ministry, you will dive into the heart of the Holy Books that have spiritually nourished God’s people from creation to today! Now available from Concordia Publishing House.