But [the angel] said to [the women], “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. Mark 16:6
This is an incredible moment – literally. Too extraordinary and improbable to be believed. Jesus told them. (Matthew 16:21, 17:23, 20:19). He had raised Lazarus a week or two before. But the women (and the rest of the disciples) go on, operating on their own understanding of how life works, how it has always worked. That’s about to change. Incredibly.
God graciously sends an angel to help the women understand what had happened. Let’s break down his message.
Do not be alarmed. – Our first response to drastic change and worldview shift is … stress and worry. Things are uncertain and no longer secure. But in this case, the change is the best thing ever.
You seek Jesus of Nazareth – The angel knew the mission the women were on. And they could be confident that this message was for them,
Who was crucified – He didn’t “swoon” or faint. He died. No one survived a Roman crucifixion.
He is risen! – Jesus is no longer dead. He has been raised by the power of God.
He is not here – This is a tomb, where dead people are. He is not dead, so He is not here.
See the place where they laid Him – You are not in the wrong tomb. Here’s is the place where you saw the body laid on Friday afternoon. Now the body is gone. Jesus isn’t just “spiritually” raised. He isn’t a ghost. His body has come back to life.
The Resurrection changes everything
We change from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant.
The payment for all our sins has been accepted.
Every word Jesus said is true.
We are reconciled to God
We are adopted into His family.
We have an inheritance and eternal life.
And so much more …
If you don’t believe He is risen …
Then you don’t believe the gospel. Paul preached the Resurrection, and he said if anyone preached anything different from what he had preached, that was another gospel, a false gospel. (2 Corinthians 11:4, Galatians 1:8-9)
Then you aren’t saved. Paul says in Romans 10:9, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” The Resurrection proves the sin debt is paid. You must believe that Jesus Christ’s death was for your sins and that He was raised, proving you are right with God.
You have no hope.
Paul walks through the logical implications if Christ is not risen from the dead.
And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up–if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.1 Corinthians 15:14-19
Jesus Christ is risen, as He said. That is the theme of Acts and the Letters. It is the reason for the praise offered to Christ in the Revelation, praise He alone is worthy to receive.
Since that morning, the Resurrection has changed everyone who has believed it. The women. The disciples. Us.
We have hope. We have life, and we have a message to share.