World English Bible translation
16:8They went out, and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had come on them. They said nothing to anyone; for they were afraid. 16:9 Now when he had risen early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. 16:10 She went and told those who had been with him, as they mourned and wept. 16:11 When they heard that he was alive, and had been seen by her, they disbelieved. 16:12 After these things he was revealed in another form to two of them, as they walked, on their way into the country. 16:13 They went away and told it to the rest. They didn't believe them, either.
Mary Magdalene and two other women had gone to the grave of Jesus immediately after the Sabbath. They went to anoint the body for burial. His body had been buried so quickly before the Passover Sabbath that it had not been properly prepared. But when the women got to the tomb, they found that it was open. There was an angel inside that told them that Jesus had been raised from the dead. He told them to go and tell all of the disciples that Jesus was alive once more. The women fled the tomb and were so astonished that they could not tell anyone for a while.
Today's Scripture gives more details of the events that followed the resurrection. It tells how Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene. After she had seen Jesus, Mary went to the disciples and told them what she had seen. At first they did not believe her. The story that she told them was too incredible to believe. They knew that Jesus had been crucified. They had heard about how the tomb had been sealed with a large stone. How could it be that Jesus was alive?
Then Mark tells of the incident that has become known as what happened on the road to Emmaus. This story is told in more detail in the Gospel of Luke. What happened was that two unnamed disciples were walking along the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus. A man comes alongside them and begins to speak with them. He asked them what they were talking about and they told the man that they were talking about how Jesus of Nazareth had been crucified and that even that morning one of the women had claimed to see Him.
The man spoke to them about these things and eventually they came to the village. They invited their guest to share a meal with them. As they were breaking bread their eyes were opened up and they recognized that the man that had been with them was Jesus of Nazareth. As soon as they recognized Him, He disappeared. They immediately returned to Jerusalem to tell the disciples what they had seen.
These stories became an important part of the teaching of the early church. Each incident and each story reinforced the thing that they all came to believe: Jesus was alive and had been raised from the dead. Many people saw Him. He was witnessed in different situations and by different people. Every story was lovingly cherished as evidence that Christ was with them. Jesus had risen from the dead and was leading His church.
Have you witnessed the Risen Christ in your life? Do you cherish the moment when you first realized that Jesus really was alive and living in you?
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