Trembling and Bewildered
Read Mark 16:10
Mark 16:2 says:
Mark 16:2 (NLT) Very early on Sunday morning, just at sunrise, they went to the tomb.
To get to the tomb before sunrise, Mary, Mary, and Salome left their houses while it was still dark. The time of year was Passover. Since the Jewish calendar is a Lunar calendar, Passover always occurs on a full moon. If we assume it was a cloudless night, the moon would have lit the way for them.
The women had two burdens. They carried a load of spices. Mark does not tell us how heavy their load was, only that they were carrying them. The second burden was an emotional one. They were loaded down with grief and sorrow.
Most of us are familiar with these two burdens.
These three women were brave. They were facing their grief and loss and were doing what they could. However, they knew they faced an obstacle in the form of a large rock. Their plan was to ask someone to move the stone because they knew they could not. They were discussing this problem on the way because they did not have anyone to ask.
How often do we find ourselves not knowing who to ask for help? The challenge many of us face is that we do not know we need help. For example, if you look at pornography, you need help. Forgive me for bringing up such an awful topic on Easter Sunday morning, but this is the kind of darkness that Jesus died to overcome.
And, overcome it He did! The ladies arrived at the tomb and found the stone already rolled away. They entered the tomb and saw a young man sitting on the right side wearing a long white robe. Mark 16:8 says:
Mark 16:8 (NLT) The women fled from the tomb, trembling and bewildered, and they said nothing to anyone because they were too frightened.
Our language does not capture how shocked these women were. They were so bewildered and shocked that they physically trembled. They fled from the tomb. They were running, trying to escape what they had seen.
If you read the rest of Mark 16, you will find that all Jesus’ followers did not believe at first. You will also notice that the ladies did not obey the angel’s instructions. He said, “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.”
Seeing the empty tomb and hearing the angel was not enough, but consider verse 9.
Mark 16:9 (NLT) After Jesus rose from the dead early on Sunday morning, the first person who saw him was Mary Magdalene, the woman from whom he had cast out seven demons.
When Mary saw Jesus, then she believed and did as instructed, going and telling the others. The same was true of all the disciples. An encounter with the risen Lord transformed them.
This sunrise service is not about watching the sunrise. This sunrise service is about an encounter with the risen Lord. We are here to take our eyes off of our sorrows. We are here to stop discussing the obstacles. We are here to remember an empty tomb and encounter our risen Lord. For indeed, He is risen from the dead, and He lives with us today.