THE WORDS OF JESUS IN THE GOSPEL OF MARK
(Jesus doesn’t speak in Mark’s account… though he does in others’)
Today concludes our 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting as a church family. Thank you for participating! We pray it has been a rich and rewarding experience and that it has drawn each of us not only closer to our Lord, but closer to each other as we’ve participated together. Please share a comment in the comments section if you’d like to share what this time of prayer and fasting has meant to you.
Today we break our fast and celebrate!
Our final devotional:
Engage the Word
1 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.
Connect the Heart
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most astounding, the most monumental, the most consequential event in all of human history. There is not single event in the history of the world that has as much significance as the resurrection. It is the foundation of the gospel. It is the center point of our faith. Without the resurrection of Jesus Christ, our faith would be pointless.
The most obvious response to the resurrection, both here in Mark and in the other gospels, is fear. The angel says “Do not be alarmed,” yet the women flee from the tomb in fear, as “trembling and astonishment had seized them.”
One of the reasons why fear was the immediate response is that these women – as well as the disciples – didn’t remember the many times Jesus had told them he would die and on the third day rise again. Three times in Mark alone – not counting the many other times that aren’t recorded.
But once again, Jesus followed through on his commitment.
And human existence has never been the same.
Reflect on the Truth
- How does your heart respond to the truth of the resurrection? How does the truth of the resurrection impact your thoughts, feelings, desires and choices?
- Do you struggle with fear, even knowing the truth of the resurrection? Do you struggle with doubt, as the disciples did? If so, how does this struggle play out in your life?
- Ask the Holy Spirit to help you see the deeper longings, desires or motives in your heart that these thoughts are pointing to. (for example: you may write down, “Fear grips me sometimes. I’d like to believe God is in control, but I’m not always sure.”) The Lord can help us discern the path forward – through His Word, His Spirit, and His people.
- How will you make a conscious choice today and going forward to trust in the hope we have through Christ’s resurrection, even in the face of fear?
Depend on the Spirit
One thing we’ve said a number of times is “The Holy Spirit in us is better than Jesus incarnate with us.” Jesus, in his humanity, can only be in one place at one time. Yet the Holy Spirit dwells inside of us. Following Jesus’ resurrection, after 40 days, he ascended to the Father in order for the Helper – the Holy Spirit – to come and guide us. Ask him to lead you in your time of prayer, in your day – and the rest of your days – as you seek to live in the light of the truth of Jesus’ resurrection.
If you have been participating in the spiritual discipline of fasting during 21 Days, today – Easter Sunday – we break our fast! Thank you for participating in this season with us. We’d love to hear from you on your experience if you’d care to leave a comment.
If you’d like to explore faith in Jesus, consider joining our Starting Point class which starts on Sunday, April 11 at 9am. Starting Point is an 8-week class that explores the basics of Christianity and is a great introduction to faith.