Press "Enter" to skip to content

Mark 16:1-8 You will see the risen Jesus, just as he told you!

Share this story

A Treasure map fills us with excitement as we look at the dotted line curving left and right through different obstacles until finally it ends with an “X” marking the spot. Once the journey to find the treasure begins, that excitement can waver. The excitement wavers once the obstacles between us and the treasure become reality. But regardless of the obstacles to get to the treasure, the treasure is still there. The obstacle filled path Jesus walked to be our Savior is recorded in the Bible. The Bible also shows us that Jesus is our greatest treasure who gives us forgiveness, salvation and eternal life in heaven.

“You went the wrong way and now we are lost.” These familiar words express failure, frustration, fear and even blame, and often cause tears and tempers to flare up. Those were not the exact words of the women who went to Jesus’ tomb on the first Easter, but some of those thoughts and emotions were there. We read what the women did say in our Gospel reading from Mark 16, 2 Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3 and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”

From their words and actions, we know the women expected to find Jesus dead, buried and sealed in the tomb. At this time in history, no one could have survived being stabbed with a spear through the lung and heart, and being hung on a cross, let alone the intense beating and flogging before he was hung on the cross. Nor would the soldiers have let him off the cross alive because their lives depended on making sure those crucified were dead. They had lost Jesus. This was the obstacle in their path that filled them with fear, frustration, failure, blame, tears, etc.

They were lost trying to navigate a new reality without Jesus. It seems that it was so overwhelming that they had not even considered what to do about rolling the stone away from the entrance to the tomb. The map of Jesus’ life they had pictured in their minds did not include these events; the map they pictured did not end with tragedy. Their real problem though was not the obstacle of Jesus’ death but taking their eyes off the map Jesus had given them.

We are also lost when we choose to live in a reality without Jesus on the map. Long ago there was a man named Job who had people in his life who chose to live without Jesus on their map. Better put, since Job most likely lived about 2,000 years before Jesus, there were people in his life who did not look forward to Jesus. First, when Job lost his children, wealth and health, his wife told him in Job 2, 9 “Curse God and die!”

Without looking to Jesus, Job’s wife saw death as the only option when life became a struggle. Second, again when Job had lost his children, wealth and health, his friends told him that God must be angry with him and that if he lived better, then God would bless him again. Without Jesus, Job’s friends figured that if you try hard enough when you get knocked down things will get better because God will bless you. You have family and friends who talk like this or are tempted to talk like this, and you have thought, spoken and acted like this too. This is a tragic way to live.

By the grace of God, Job’s eyes had been opened to a reality with Jesus. The eyes of the women were also opened to a reality with Jesus. We hear what the women saw when they reached the tomb in Mark 16, 4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. 6 “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, 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, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”

Jesus was crucified, died and was buried, but on the third day he rose according to what he had said. This was the angel’s message. Jesus had not suffered a detour; he was not lost. He had laid out the map for his followers on multiple occasions. In fact, three days before on Thursday, we hear what Jesus said to his disciples in Mark 14, 27 “You will all fall away,” Jesus told them, “for it is written: “‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ This was a prophecy from Zechariah the prophet to Judah from 500 years earlier, which came true with Jesus’ crucifixion and the scattering of his followers.

Then, Jesus said, 28 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” Jesus had told them that he would die, and that they would scatter in fear, failure, frustration, anger, blame, etc. But he would rise from the dead and meet them in Galilee where they had done so much ministry together. The obstacle of Jesus’ death took the disciples eyes off the map so that they did not come to the tomb and took the women’s eyes off the map so that they came to the tomb expecting a dead body. Then, their eyes were opened to see that it happened, “just as he told you.’”

Jesus opens eyes to see him with his words. The angel, which means messenger, told the women the good news, “He has risen!” This message has remained the same for followers of Jesus throughout time. Even Job had faith in that message as we read in our Old Testament reading from Job 19, 25 I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. 26 And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; 27 I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me! Although so many obstacles had been put in Job’s life, he struggled forward knowing the end of his path was the treasure of an empty tomb, his Savior’s and his own.

We see our empty tomb because of Jesus’ empty tomb. Sin causes death, but Jesus is our Redeemer. That is the truth given in our New Testament reading from 1 Corinthians 15, 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. Jesus died for our sins, so we are set free from them and forgiven. Jesus’ empty tomb is our confidence to be raised to life without sin.

Raised without sin we will live with God in heaven in peace, joy, health, safety, security etc. surrounded by our living family and friends who died in faith, with our brothers and sisters in the faith from all nations throughout time, with the angels and Jesus. Jesus has preserved his words to get you through the obstacles of your life knowing the treasure of heaven is waiting.

As exciting as a treasure map is, the obstacles can keep us from reaching the treasure. Our treasure in heaven is not based on our journey, but Jesus’ journey from death to life. Sin and the sinful world put obstacles in your way overwhelming you with fear, failure, frustration, blame, tears, a temper, etc. The Bible has the words of Jesus to get you through the obstacles. The Bible tells us the good news of Easter that the tomb was empty, “He has risen!” The Bible has this message for you, that you will see the risen Jesus, just as he told you. Amen.

Gunnar Ledermann, Pastor Divine Peace Church

Gunnar Ledermann

I’m passionate about Rockwall’s vibrant community and actively engage with local non-profits and community organizations, including the Rockwall Chamber of Commerce, the City of Rockwall, and the Downtown Rockwall Association. My background includes a bachelor’s degree in Classical Languages and a master’s degree in divinity. Currently serving as a pastor at Divine Peace Church in Rockwall, I also enjoy spending time with my wife, Marinda, and our three children.

Share this story
Support Local Business
Support Local Business

One Comment

  1. Jesse wallis Jesse wallis April 3, 2024

    I would like to thank Jesus for what he has done in all of my family s lives and has blessed all of use with his grace and miracles he’s done for use all have a blessed day amen

Comments are closed.