Today’s Scripture: Mark 14:53-16:8
Today I encourage you to read the account in Mark of Jesus’ death and resurrection. It’s found in Mark 14:53-16:8. It moves rather quickly and will be a good ending to our time in Mark. For our devotional today however, I would like to focus on a few particular verses in that longer passage: Mark 16:1-7
16 Saturday evening, when the Sabbath ended, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome went out and purchased burial spices so they could anoint Jesus’ body. 2 Very early on Sunday morning, just at sunrise, they went to the tomb. 3 On the way they were asking each other, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” 4 But as they arrived, they looked up and saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled aside.
5 When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a white robe sitting on the right side. The women were shocked, 6 but the angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body. 7 Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died.”
8 The women fled from the tomb, trembling and bewildered, and they said nothing to anyone because they were too frightened.
Yesterday when we were speaking about Judas I make the assertion that everything is redeemable. Here we have another example of that promise. If you are not careful you’ll rush right past it.
Remember earlier in Mark when Jesus told his disciples at the Last Supper that they would all desert him? Peter, you will recall, was most adamant that he would stay with Jesus to the end – even death. Jesus predicted that Peter would deny even knowing Jesus before the sun came up the next morning. And that’s exactly what happened.
Imagine you are Peter. You boldly stated that you would die for Jesus but in just a few hours times you find yourself swearing curses on your own life that you did not know him (Mark 14:66-72). The text says Peter “Broke down and wept.” I think that’s an understatement.
Cut to our passage today. Jesus is alive! Mary, Mary, and Salome found the tomb to be empty and then spoke to an angel who told them of the resurrection. But notice what else the angel said: “Go tell his disciples, including Peter.” Peter gets singled out! Everything is redeemable.
I don’t know why I’ve felt moved to hit this same theme on back to back days. I’m sure it’s because I needed to hear it myself. But maybe you did too. No matter what you have done – there is forgiveness in Christ. No matter how much you beat yourself up – there is grace in Christ. No matter how much you think you’ve ruined everything – there is redemption in Christ. Everything is redeemable.
God thank you for not holding our worst days against us. Help us to let go of the things we need to let go of. Help us to trust in your forgiveness and redemption. And help us to commit ourselves to living in your love and grace every single day of our lives.
PS The devotionals will take a break on Monday for Labor Day, but we will be back on Tuesday September 8. We have now finished with Mark, so we will start a new focus area on Tuesday. I will see you then! ~ Bryan