Genesis 1:1-2:2; Psalm 104; Genesis 22:1-18; Psalm 16; Exodus 14:15-31, 15:20, 1; Exodus 15; Isaiah 54:5-14; Psalm 30; Isaiah 55:1-11; Isaiah 12; Baruch 3:9-15, 32-4.4; Psalm 19; Ezekiel 36:16-17, 18-28; Psalm 42-43; Romans 6:3-11; Psalm 118; Matthew 28:1-10
The Gospel today is believed to be the traditional ending of Mark’s version of his Gospel. It tells us the women went to the tomb and were wondering who would roll the stone on the mouth of the tomb. The they saw the stone rolled back. Then a young man came and told them: Do not be alarmed you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him.
Several things to note on what this young man said. He knew the women were looking for Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified. The crucifixion of Jesus is mentioned. He tells the women Jesus has been raised, he is not here. Jesus is alive and he is not here and the man invited them look at where they laid him. The tomb was opened not to let Jesus out. It was opened to let people see Jesus is not there as proof of his resurrection.
When God created the universe, he saw everything was good. The Hebrew word that is translated as good means functional. So when God created the universe, everything was working the way he wanted. But when Adam sinned, things started to fall apart. So God worked to restore things back to how he wanted it to work. He called Abraham and selected the children of Israel and led them back to Egypt. He did this so he has a group of people he calls his own, whom he can relate with in love. God wants everyone in the world to know him and he choose Israel as the nation that will make him known.
But the nation of Israel rejected God and suffered for this sin. They were exiled out of their land and in their exile God sent prophets to remind them of his love that will restore them to where God had planned for them.
God will do this, not for the sake of the people, but for the sake of his name. He still wants people to know him through Israel, which is why he sent his Son to be born from that nation. But despite that, the people rejected his Son. They killed him and tonight shows us, no matter how evil humanity is, whatever humanity does, God is still victorious. St Paul claims Christ being raised from the dead, will never die again. Death no longer has dominion over him. God sent his Son, raised him up to do what Israel failed to do. Jesus died to take on the effects of the sins of Israel and of the world. By dying, he allowed the Father to raise him from the dead, so that he will not die again.
The resurrection of Jesus proves the power of God over the plans of men. It proves that God can create something new. It proves not even death can silence God. In fact, with the resurrection of Jesus, death has been silenced and made ineffective.
The resurrection of Jesus fulfills all the promises God made to his people. He appoints himself as the husband of his people, their Redeemer. He will restore them to what he has planned for them. He does this not by conquering nations, but by conquering sin and death. This is fulfilled in the obedience of Jesus Christ and obedience to Christ.
When we reject God, we die. But when we receive him through Christ, we live. Receiving him is obeying him. This leads to the life God wants us to live. It leads to a life God that functions as God wants – this is the good life God has planned for us.
Lord Jesus, your death and resurrection conquered sin and death. Let me follow you in humility. Let me obey you so that you can raise me up for the glory of your name.