Faith in 15
Amazing Terror (Easter 2021)
Apr 05, 2021
First Baptist Church Carrollton
- Bible times were simpler, but the people were not naïve. Through observation, they collected impressive knowledge on a variety of subjects. Jesus acknowledges common weather predictions (Matthew 16:2-3). The citizens of Nazareth make a back-handed comment on Joseph as Jesus’s father (Matthew 13:55, surely related to the timing of Jesus’ birth). On death, Martha, sister of Lazarus, doesn’t want to open her brother’s tomb because “he stinketh”(John 11:39 - you have to love the KJV on this verse).
- The women only expected Jesus to be dead. They went to the tomb for a ritual much closer to last rites than to an Easter sunrise service.
- The resulting shock of Jesus’ resurrection fills the women with terror. Mark uses words like fear, trembling, and fleeing. It’s impossible to dress up their terrified astonishment.
- Mark uses a double negative to emphasize the silence of the women who first experienced the resurrection.
- I chose not to spend time on it in the sermon, but many Bible scholars think Mark intended to end the gospel at verse 8, precisely to make his point: now that they know about Jesus, how can they not tell? If verse 8 is the end of the gospel, the abrupt ending matches the abrupt beginning. None of the other gospels begin or end with the suddenness of Mark.
- It’s impossible to go back and recreate the shock of the women for the contemporary reader. I attempted to drive home some “unsettledness” by recognizing the implications of a few of Jesus’s radical teachings.