Our Resurrection Series continues this week, Sunday @ 10 am, with Mark 16:1-8: "RISEN: They said nothin' to nobody."
"Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid." - Mark 16:8
In the Greek language, there is no ban on double negatives, which are instead used on purpose, often for emphasis (just as is done in some of our colloquialisms!). A literal rendering of the end of Mark 16:8 is: "They said nothin' to nobody, because they were completely freaked out."
Can we blame them? Think of it. You are already saddened and disillusioned by the events of the last few days. Now you are seeing angels telling you Jesus is risen? But you did see something. And you didn't hallucinate because the person with you saw the same thing. But if you go and tell people that a dead person was now alive, they are going to think you are crazy.
And here we are, some 1,984 years later. Faced with the same dilemma. Why are we Christians? Are we Christians because we like Jesus' good teachings? Are we Christians because it makes us feel good? Are we Christians because Jesus is a good example of how to live right?
NO! We are Christians because HE IS RISEN. We do what we do because HE IS RISEN. We have hope because HE IS RISEN. We love one another because HE IS RISEN.
We follow Jesus wherever He leads us. Because. HE. IS. RISEN.
May I be so bold as to say: any other reason is a waste of time. These words from 1 Corinthians 15:17-19 say this: "If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men."
Sometimes the fear of sounding crazy causes us also to shush up. To say nothin' to nobody. And to be sure, if we went around saying to everyone we saw, HE IS RISEN, we might sound pretty crazy. But what sounds far more crazy is to go through this world pretending death is not a big problem and that the only way to live on is in the memory of others. Jesus came to this world to rescue us and conquer death. The only reason He has not concluded the process with His return is so that more people could be brought home. More people rescued. More people given hope. Here. Now.
So we are set free to love our neighbors. Because they desperately need to be loved. And through that love, the Lord will provide a time and a place. They might ask you: "Why do you believe what you believe?" You'll know the answer: "HE IS RISEN." You won't be called crazy. You will be participating in the Redemption and Restoration of God's Children...all through His Resurrection!
Know that I'm praying for all of this to happen in us, to us, and through us. Because, HE IS RISEN INDEED. HALLELUJAH!