April 25: Hope Soars!

Read Mark 16:1-20

Each of the four gospels offers us a different vantage point on the resurrection of Jesus. Mark’s description is the shortest but vitally important. (By the way, you may have noticed a footnote in your Bible indicating that some of the earliest manuscripts do not include 16:9-20. We turn our attention to the first eight verses.)

I wonder if the ladies that went to the tomb that morning felt like they had been passengers on the Millennium Force roller coaster at the Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio. You see, after boarding the coaster in the station, the thrill seekers plunge 300 feet at an 80-degree angle with speeds up to 93 miles per hour. From there, the ride continues through a series of other steep ascents and descents and sharp right and left turns. The adventure is not for the faint of heart.

Neither was the experience of the women who went to the tomb that morning. Many of them had experienced the highs of being with Jesus during His earthly ministry. But then, just days before, the coaster went screaming downward as they watched Jesus die. Their emotions had hit the extremes in both directions.

The following three days had been difficult ones…probably mixed with tears but perhaps helped by the fact that they did something constructive by assembling spices for the anointing. Early on that Sunday morning, they met and walked with their aromatic treasures to the tomb. What they discovered there wasn’t at all what they expected…it wasn’t at all what they had seen 3 days earlier. They had seen the place where His body had been laid. They saw the stone that had been rolled against the entrance. But as they arrived that Sunday morning, it all looked different! The stone had been rolled away. A young man dressed in white sat inside the tomb and spoke to them. The body of Jesus was nowhere to be seen. According to the man, Jesus had risen. Frightened and confused, the women left. Dare they allow their hopes to soar once again?

Indeed, our hopes do soar because Jesus has risen from the dead. The other gospels tell us that they later saw Him…as did more than 500 others. Thomas touched Him. People watched while He ate. He spoke to them. He is alive! Hope is renewed!