He Is Risen

Key Verse: “He said to them, Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him.”
—Mark 16:6, New American Standard Bible

Selected Scripture:
Mark 16:1-8

IT WAS VERY EARLY IN the morning on the first day of the week after the Sabbath. Three women who were devoted to the Lord Jesus were on a mission to anoint his body. Precious spices had been purchased, and they carried them to his grave. Doubts did not dissuade them. “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” they asked one another. Yet their love for the Lord compelled them to continue. We may imagine their amazement and perplexity when they looked up and saw the stone had been removed. What was happening? Who rolled away the stone and why?—Mark 16:3,4, NASB

It is emblematic that the sun rose as these dear women approached the tomb. (vs. 2) Darkness, despair and fear accompanied the loss of the beloved Master. Now, as they came near, the sun began to shine. The light of the glory of the Gospel was beginning to appear again. The era of Christian faith and hope was hailed with the words, “He has risen.”

Upon entering the tomb, the women saw what appeared to be a young man sitting, wearing a white robe. He spoke to them the words of our Key Verse, following which he said, “Go, tell His disciples and Peter, He is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He told you. They went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had gripped them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.”—vss. 7,8, NASB

These women were chosen to be the first witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection. Their devotion and faithfulness is memorialized in Scripture. They were followers from the days of his ministry in Galilee to the time of his crucifixion. Mark bears record, “There were also some women looking on from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the Less and Joses, and Salome. When He was in Galilee, they used to follow Him and minister to Him.”—Mark 15:40,41, NASB

“He has risen.” Why are these words of enormous significance to Christians? The answer is eloquently presented in I Corinthians chapter 15. Much to our surprise, there were brethren in the church at Corinth who did not believe in the resurrection! Perhaps an element of the Sadducees had converted to Christianity. They brought their “baggage” with them, “For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection.”—Acts 23:8, NASB

Apostle Paul refutes this error with power and clarity. “Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; … For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. … But now Christ has been raised from the dead.” (I Cor. 15:12-20, NASB) Let us therefore rejoice, for he is risen indeed!