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Monday, January 11, 2010

1/12/10- The resurrection affects the disciples

(Resurrection appearance to the women- San Marco Convent Florence- Fra Angelico and school 1440-1)
1/12/10- Mark 16:1-8 Resurrection

1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus' body. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3 and they asked each other, "Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?" 4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. 6 "Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.' " 8 Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.

Calvin abridged: In Christ’s resurrection he obtained  righteousness for us, opened up our entrance into heaven, and ratified our adoption, proving himself to be the Son of God. He began with the women and not only showed himself to them, but commissioned them to speak to the apostles- instructing them. This was to chastise the indifference of the apostles- who were half-dad with fear. Matthew says the two Marys came, but Mark adds Salome and Luke says many women came. But it is customary when a great number are involved for the gospel writers name only a few. The women were commissioned to go and tell the disciples- but especially Peter (because of his crime). Jesus had not cast him off, though he had fallen wickedly.

Thoughts: Jesus cared for his disciples when they had let him and themselves down. Calvin rightfully reminds us of the place of the women in spreading the good news. Similarly, Lydia was the first Christian convert recorded in Europe. God does not care who shares- what they look like, how they were respected by others. He just cares that the good news is passed on. Those who say Christianity has kept women down, naively forget the break-through role of women that really started with the news of the resurrection. From here on- it is not just males who are initiated (through circumcision- as in the Old Testament), or even females initiated in one way (baptism) and males in another (circumcision). But after the resurrection all- male and female are baptized and welcomed in. Jesus showed an amazing care for Peter that he would be restored with hope. God today does not despise the contrite heart.  The disciples were afraid, and the women were brave enough to go to the tomb.  God uses those who are brave enough to trust in Him.  After the resurrection, the disciples were changed and lost their fear.  They went from cowering in a locked room to being martyrs around the world.

Prayer: Today, Lord, may my heart be humbled and honoring to you. May I experience your living presence in my daily tasks today. Help me to look for an opportunity to tell someone else of your amazing life-giving power.

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