Death Is Not the End

KEY VERSE: “He saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here; behold the place where they laid him.” —Mark 16:6


THE WOMEN WHO went to the tomb early in the morning of that memorable first day of the week had not heard of the precaution taken by the religious rulers to seal the tomb and to set a watch to prevent any of Jesus’ friends from entering and possibly stealing the body, else they would not have inquired as to whom they could get to roll the stone away from the entrance. But this did not matter for they soon discovered that it had already been rolled away.

Hurriedly entering the sepulcher, the women saw a “young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were afraid.” (Mark 16:5) This young man was an angel, materialized in flesh for the purpose of conveying an important message to those who had come and found that Jesus was not there. “He is risen, he is not here,” the angel said to the women. He explained that Jesus had gone to Galilee, and that they would see him there. “Go your way, tell his disciples, and Peter,” the angel continued. The receiving of such good news must have rejoiced the hearts of these faithful servants of the Master, and they were commissioned to go tell this good news to the other disciples.

We think there is a lesson here for all who name the name of Christ. The truth of the divine plan which centers in Christ has been given to us, and it is a great cause for rejoicing to realize God has made a most generous provision for the blessing of all the families of the earth. And with us, even as in the case of the women who went early to Jesus’ tomb, we too are commissioned to go and tell these glad tidings to others. We are to tell the whole world, as a matter of fact, in so far as we have the opportunity to do so. There is no better way to express our own rejoicing in the truth than to sacrifice time and strength and means in an effort to share it with others.

The women were commissioned to tell the disciples and especially Peter. This intrepid apostle had denied Christ, and this message would have assured him that he had been forgiven. There was another reason why Peter received special mention in this connection, no doubt. He had done all he could to prevent the crucifixion of Jesus, thinking that it was a tragic mistake. Jesus had explained that the way to save one’s life is to lose it. (Matt. 16:24,25) But at that time this was not Peter’s way, so he tried to prevent his Master from making what he thought was a bad mistake. But Peter’s efforts were thwarted and now the Lord, in kindly consideration for him, and as part of his training, saw to it that the fact of his resurrection was especially called to Peter’s attention. He wanted Peter to know that having given up his life sacrificially, he now had saved it—his God had raised him from the dead.

It was not long before the disciples were convinced that Jesus had indeed been raised from the dead. Yet there was a great deal of uncertainty as to the direction to take. When they first accepted Jesus’ invitation to follow him, the way seemed clear. They had a visible leader to whom they looked. They gave up their businesses and were enthusiastic about their new vocation in life.

But now everything was so different. Their first disappointment over the death of their Master had given way to great joy in the fact of his resurrection, yet they saw him on only a few brief occasions, and as far as they could tell there was now no program for full-time service. But Jesus told them to wait, and that this would be revealed very soon. And it was.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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