What? Wait a Minute!
“. . . He’s not here; . . .” Mark 16:6
The end. The abrupt ending creates surprise and suspense. This strange dissatisfying ending does not seem appropriate for a story that’s supposed to be good news. Instead of a grand confident crescendo, we encounter the women and disciples in total confusion and terror.
The whole thing is puzzling. There’s an empty tomb, a mysterious young man announcing, “He’s not here,” followed by a vague instruction that Jesus has gone on to Galilee, and everyone is too scared to say anything.
There’s no further reassurance to encourage them to live faithfully. There’s no reunion. There’s no further instructions. It’s over, that’s it, the end. We, like the ones who lived this story might feel a bit forsaken. We are left to work things out for ourselves while Jesus waits in Galilee. We are forced to ask ourselves, if, in the same situation, we would go into Galilee to meet Him there.
“He’s not here” is meant to shock our system. Jesus cannot be held by death. He’s resurrected and unleashed on the world. Simply, one cannot meet Jesus at the place where they left Him, in their stone houses of death, depression and despair. He’s gone on ahead, “He’s not here.”
We want the story to end on a high hallelujah note of celebration, but the heartache of death does not so easily disappear. The resurrection has not cleared up people’s personal view of their own sinful condition. People still lie to themselves and others about Jesus. His messengers are still persecuted, and His followers still go through dark seasons of confusion.
“He’s not here” is written for those who feel like the first disciples, struggling to understand just what is going on. For those who feel like their soul is paper thin and the slightest breeze could rip them into pieces. For those who feel more anguish than assurance. Our heightened awareness of inadequacy, bewilderment and weakness only serve to highlight God’s great work.
We must realize “He’s not here” is not about our personal foolishness and failure, it’s about the power of God who overcomes human’s distinction and disaster.
Will we stake our lives on the living Jesus?