The Life Application Study Bible (LASB) tells us in the footnotes for this passage “Mary Magdalene and Mary went to the tomb early Sunday morning to anoint Jesus’ body as a sign of love, devotion and respect. Bringing spices to the tomb was like bringing flowers to a grave today”.
Think about this. Have you ever taken flowers to a beloved’s grave? And not only to take flowers, but to do so on your first visit to your beloved’s grave since the burial. Imagine the depth of emotions you would feel, (or maybe you have felt), in this situation. You prepare yourself for the moment, and then, your expectations are turned upside down; the grave is empty! Not only is the grave empty, but an angel tells you your beloved has been raised! What would you do? Mark tells us Mary Magdalene and Mary “fled, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone”.
I think I may have done the same thing. But thankfully, Jesus’ resurrection was made real when He revealed Himself to His disciples in Jerusalem and Galilee. And what a universe-altering reveal His resurrection was. Jesus’ resurrection is the game-changer of all time. The empty tomb declares without question God’s dominion over all. As beautifully stated in the LASB, the empty tomb and “resurrection provides the substance of the church’s witness to the world. We do not merely tell lessons from the life of a good teacher; we proclaim the reality of the resurrection of Jesus Christ”.
How is the “reality of the resurrection” present in your life? What do we do with this miracle? How do we live our lives amid this resurrection story? I think this is one of the most powerful concepts we Christians must grasp and make real in our lives. I have tried, on occasion, to peel back the layers of this concept. And I imagine this will be a life-long process.
As I think about the “reality of the resurrection”, the themes of sacrifice, love, assurance and redemption come to mind. So many examples of these are woven throughout Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. Imagine what our daily lives would look like if we lived in the full acceptance, knowledge and confidence of Christ’s of sacrifice, love, assurance and redemption. How much more loving a father, mother, son, sister or spouse might we be? If we are confident in Jesus’ love and redemption, might we be more forgiving and understanding when someone dear to us disappoints us, or when we disappoint ourselves? If we live with full assurance and confidence of Jesus’ sacrifice for us, might we be more generous in the sharing of our bounty? Imagine the new degrees of acceptance and inclusion the world could experience if we remembered Christ’s sacrifice, love, assurance and redemption for us. We might not be able to eliminate injustice or fear or hate. But I believe we could whittle away at these enemies of love. I believe Jesus’ resurrection gives us the power and the conviction to declare this world as His and we as His people.
So, go ahead; consider the radical expression of Jesus’ resurrection in your own life this Easter. May we each experience our own resurrection of spirit, power and conviction this Easter season. May we be buoyed and strengthened daily by Jesus’ example of sacrifice, love, assurance and redemption.