“And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed.
You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified.
He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him.”
It has only been a couple weeks since Christians all around the world celebrated the most climatic event ever, the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. No other event has ever changed and shaped history as the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. No wonder the Bible, according to the Guinness World Records, is the best-selling book of all time with over 5 billion copies sold. As with the other synoptic gospels, Mark records the events of the crucifixion. Mark 16 focuses on the events after the crucifixion.
Without Mark 16, the previous chapter would all be in vain. But the glory of Calvary is punctuated with the glorious resurrection. No other religion in the world has a resurrected Lord. Mohammad, Buddha, and Krishna remain in the grave. But Jesus, God made flesh, who came to die and was raised up on the third day (John 1:1, 1:14, 1 Cor. 15:4, 1 Pet. 3:18) reigns forever. Three amazing things about the resurrection are 1. It was prophetically foretold 2. Inaugurated the New (and better) covenant and 3. Established Christ’s church.
The prophetic nature of Christ’s work is foretold throughout the Old Testament. The prophet Isaiah prophesied this in Isaiah 26:19 and 53:5-7. Christ himself foretold his death and resurrection earlier in the book of Mark. “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise” (Mark 9:31).
The resurrection of Christ qualifies him to preside over the new covenant. Hebrews 9:15-28 identifies the key components of Christ’s work in establishing this new covenant. They are 1. He is the mediator of this new covenant. 2. Those who are called receive an eternal inheritance. 3. He redeems us of transgressions committed under the first covenant. 4. He is our high priest. 5. He will appear a second time to save those who eagerly await him. As Colossians so well puts it; “15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-all things were created through him and for him.” Colossians 1:15-16
As a church, one of the greatest privileges is worshipping through communion. The call of communion is to remember what Christ did for us through his death, burial, and resurrection (1 Cor. 11:23-26). Verse 26 tells us to observe communion until he returns. Christ said himself in Mark 14:25 that he won’t drink the fruit of the vine again until he drinks it new in the kingdom of God. The Apostle Paul says in his epistle to the church in Ephesus, that God the Father raised Christ from the dead, seated him at his right side in heavenly places and put all authority under his feet. Placing him as the head of all things in the church which is his body. (Eph. 1:20-23)
As we can see, the resurrection power of Christ has accomplished many great things pertaining to the Kingdom of God. We who are in Christ will also be resurrected to a life with Christ for eternity. What a great and precious promise we have in Christ!