Out of the four Gospels, Mark has the shortest account of the first Easter. I think this was a story-telling device used by the apostle Peter. John Mark, the gospel writer, had traveled with Paul and Barnabas but had ended up as a companion of Peter. There is no telling how many times Mark had listened to Peter tell his story about Jesus. If, as I suppose, the Gospel of Mark is Mark’s recollection of Peter’s story, then this ending is the all-time greatest “come back tomorrow to hear some more” story.
Imagine listening to Peter tell his story. You had heard about this new religion that has been growing for years. And then you were surprised to find out that you knew some Christians yourself. And they invited you to meet someone who knew Jesus. It is going to take about two and a half to three hours to tell. It is the greatest story ever told and Peter tells it very well. It is full of human drama, ups and downs, twists and turns. And toward the end you hear Peter’s tearful confession of denying Jesus three times. You are stunned to hear that someone so wonderfully loving as Jesus could be executed as a criminal. How could that happen?
And then you hear these seven verses, Mark 16:2-8. The three women go to the tomb and find the stone rolled away. There is a man sitting inside the tomb. He tells the women, “Don’t be alarmed! You are looking for Jesus from Nazareth, who was nailed to a cross. God has raised him to life, and he isn’t here. You can see the place where they put his body. Now go and tell his disciples, and especially Peter, that he will go ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you.” When the women ran from the tomb, they were confused and shaking all over. They were too afraid to tell anyone what had happened.
“Wait! What? Peter, how did you find out? When did the women finally tell you? Did you go to Galilee? Did you see him? What happened?”
Peter answers, “Come back tomorrow night and I will tell you more.” There is so much more!
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Caring for the needs of our church and community through prayer, deeds, inspiration and love in the Spirit of Christ.
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Rev Pat Bell, Pastor
First United Methodist Church Sealy
200 Atchison Street
Sealy, Texas 77474