Sunday, March 31, 2013

Are You Afraid?

Mark 16:1-8

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. “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. 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.’" Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.

Well, I don't know about you - but I know I would have been afraid too!  And not just afraid I would have turned and run as fast as I could.   

Imagine having been a witness to a very heart wrenching death of a close friend.  Seeing him in agony and pain. Bleeding profusely.  Pierced by nails.  Wearing a crown of thorns. 

When I take a walk in the woods and get tangled up in a thorn bush, I am quite a mess.  And that is just from one small branch containing maybe 10 thorns.  I can bleed profusely from just a few scratches.  So imagine having a crown of thorns forced upon your head, nails hammered through your hands and feet.  Blood running down into your eyes, thick in your hair, pouring over you.  Now imagine being a witness to that.  Your dear friend dying right before your eyes.  It's hard to even imagine the pain they must have felt for Jesus.  So I can understand their fear when they find him missing from his grave.

So often we respond with that same amount of fear.  Fear of allowing others to witness in us the resurrection of Christ.  Fear of what they may think of us for buying into this story.

But the thing is we know the ending of the story.  He was resurrected!  He defeated death!  And he did that just for us.  So we would not have to be afraid anymore.  I know that I can feel that supernatural presence in my life.  Guiding me, helping me, loving me each and every day.

I have no reason to be afraid now that I know the rest of His story!  So don't be afraid anymore.  He is not here.  He is risen!  And He will come again!