Easter Day, March 31, 2024

March 12, 2024 | by Allan Bevere

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Mark 16:1-8

After the Sabbath the women make their way to Jesus’ tomb to lovingly finish their obligations toward their Lord. In haste, they could not complete the anointing of Jesus’ body before burial. Now that the Sabbath is over, they make their way toward the tomb, just after sunrise, to do just that.

Their main concern is who will assist them in removing the massive stone that has sealed Jesus’ body in its burial cave. The male disciples remain in hiding, either nowhere to be found, or they simply refuse to put themselves at risk by venturing out into the light of day.

To their shock the women discover that the stone, for some unknown reason, has been moved. The entrance to Jesus’ grave is open. Creating a sense of fear they encounter a “young man” dressed in white. They are not prepared to meet the living in a place reserved only for the dead.

They then receive the bewildering and unbelievably incredible news. Jesus is no longer in the grave because he is no longer among the dead. He has risen. The “young man” then gives the women a message to his disciples and Peter. Why is Peter singled out separately from the rest? Could it be that, because of his denial, Peter is, for the moment, out of the band of men who had followed Jesus? Could it more likely be that in mentioning him by name, the “young man” hopes to comfort Peter in the knowledge that his Lord still wants something to do with him, even though he had denied publicly he wanted anything to do with the Lord?

“He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.” That is the message to the disciples. “He is going out ahead of you.” The disciples could not keep up with Jesus in life, and now he has gone out ahead of them into new life. Not even death could slow Jesus down. The Lion of the Tribe of Judah cannot be tamed. Instead, Jesus has tamed the Principalities and Powers. Jesus has entered into the jaws of death itself and pulled its teeth. As he entered into death and has now emerged out the other side into new life, Jesus remains on the move. All the disciples can do is follow him doing their best to keep up.

Allan R. Bevere is a Professional Fellow in Theology. He recently retired from full-time pastoral ministry in the United Methodist Church where he served for thirty-eight years. He is the owner of the social media portal, Faith Seeking Understanding (allanrbevere.org) with links to his YouTube Channel, podcast, blog, and daily reflections. He is the author of the forthcoming booklet, Holiness of Heart and Life: Loving God and Neighbor, and has published several other books including: The Politics of Witness: The Character of the Church in the WorldColossians and Philemon: A Participatory Study Guide, and Who Is Jesus? The Puzzle and the Portraits of a Divine Savior.

Dr. Bevere received his Ph.D in Theology from the University of Durham U.K., a Th.M in Theological Ethics from Duke Divinity School, an M.Div. in Pastoral Ministry and an M.A. in Religious Studies from Ashland Theological Seminary, and a B.A. in Christian Ministries from Malone University.

Dr. Bevere has served the larger church in various capacities over the years including mission, education, and leadership. He brings his passion for teaching to pastors in Cuba at the Methodist Seminary in Havana, Zimbabwe at Africa University, and Cameroon at the local Methodist churches. He has also engaged in mission work in Haiti and Puerto Rico.

Dr. Bevere is married to Carol. They have four adult children and four granddaughters. His hobbies include reading, gardening, cooking, playing guitar, and hiking.