Passionate about anointing the body of Jesus
The contents of this chapter are too good to be true! And they indeed stand true, even today, for every believing child of God! Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Jesus were passionate about anointing the body of Jesus and sought to do so right after the Sabbath ended, vs 1,2.
As they went along, it suddenly dawned on them that the stone would have to be rolled away if they had to have access to the body of Jesus in order to anoint the same! Nevertheless, on account of their passion, they did not foresee this hurdle, and so did not use it as an excuse to avoid visiting the tomb, vs 3!
Lo and behold, on reaching there, to their surprise, they found that the stone, which was very large and well sealed too, Mathew 27:63-66, had already been rolled away, vs 4! The next thing they encounter is an angel who gives them certain information and instructions, at which they become fearful, alarmed, bewildered and filled with terror, vs 5-8!
At this point, it seems that they returned home, and conveyed the message to the disciples about the missing body, and so Peter and John went running to the tomb to see what exactly had happened, (reading together with John 20:1-18). However, on finding the tomb open with no body of Jesus to be seen, they returned home, John 20:19. Do we often behave like them too, and so refrain from seeking deeper into the things of God, just because we take spiritual things at face value, and so settle for less revelations than what God desires us to have? This time Mary Magdalene stays back at the tomb, and begins weeping, for she is deeply distressed about the missing body of Jesus, John 20:12-15!
“It was then that she encountered the risen Lord Jesus, Mark 16: 9! Only then does she give the disciples the message that Jesus tells her to convey to them and, of course they disbelieved her words, vs 10,11! Even later when Jesus appeared to the two disciples who were on their way to Emmaus, the other disciples disbelieved their witness too, vs 12,13. Then He appeared to the eleven themselves, while they were eating, and He rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him resurrected, vs 14! Hardness of heart is a sign of pride and results in unbelief, causing one to fall away from the Living God, Hebrews 3:12.
We need to be rebuked for the same so that on repenting, we can have soft, humble hearts in which faith can grow. As they repent and accept the truth about the resurrection of Christ, they are ready to receive the mandate to take the Gospel to the Nations, leading others to faith in Christ, water baptism, baptism in the Holy Spirit and obedience to the commandments, vs 15-16. Those who truly believe in Christ will drive out demons; speak in new languages; pick up snakes with their hands, and whatever poison they drink will not harm them; they will place their hands on the sick and they will be made well, vs 17-18! It was only after communicating this to them Himself that Jesus was taken up to heaven and sat down at the right hand of God, vs 19.
And the disciples, on being filled with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, did indeed go out and proclaim everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through the accompanying signs, vs 20, that He said would follow those who believed! Do we believe in angelic apparitions ochestrated by God, supernatural works of God to send earthquakes that resurrect instead of destroy, ability to see Jesus with our natural eyes because we passionately long for His presence, and all the other signs that Jesus said would accompany those who believe?
Let not any hardness in our hearts or a lack of passion for the Lord rob us of that which is our legitimate birthright in Christ Jesus our Lord. True humility leads to true faith and such faith pleases God, with whom nothing will be impossible, Luke 1:37! Amen.