Jesus said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News, whoever believes and is baptized will be saved”…After the Lord had spoken to them He was taken up into Heaven he sat at the right hand of God. (Mark 16:15-19 NIV)
As Christ concluded His mission on earth and was going back to the Father he left his disciples with a mission. Salvation was now possible for all people all they had to do was believe. And now it is the churches duty to carry the message of God’s love and atonement through Christ to all people. We can believe the message the Bible gives us. Christ has come and He has risen. And we have the hope of seeing Him face to face someday. As Jesus was ascending back to Heaven the disciples were left with a promise that holds even for us today. That Christ who rose from the dead will come again someday and take us to be with Him forever. Then we will see Him as He is. That is a message worth sharing.
Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene who went and told the rest. When they heard it they did not believe it. Afterward Jesus appeared to two of them while they were walking in the country. They returned and reported it to the others but they did not believe them either. Later Jesus appeared to the eleven and rebuked them for their lack of faith and stubborn refusal to believe. (Mark 16:9-14 NIV)
Unbelief is the unforgivable sin, because only it cannot be atoned for. How can unbelief be atoned for when we refuse to believe we can be atoned for? People die without Christ all the time and spend eternity separated from Him all because of unbelief. Here the disciples were told on several occasions that Christ was raised from the dead. But yet they did not believe it. It wasn’t just Thomas who suffered from unbelief. All the disciples suffered from it. Even today can we truthfully say that we do not? We can believe Christ has risen because God’s word gives us the proof. Remember much of the New Testament was written by eye witnesses to Christ Resurrection. They verify to what they had seen and tell us that we can rest assured all that is written is true. More than that, we have the Holy Spirit testifying the truth in our hearts. If he is living within us we can testify to the truth of Christ resurrection. You ask me how I know He lives, He lives within my heart.
Mary Magdalene, the other Mary, and Salome brought spices to anoint Jesus’ body…When they looked up, they saw the stone had been rolled away. They saw a man sitting on the right side and they were alarmed. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “ You are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him… He is going ahead of you into Galilee there you will see him. (Mark 16:1-7 NIV)
This is it. This is what Easter is all about: The resurrection of Christ. This is the event we celebrate at this time of year Fluffy bunnies and chocolate candies are inconsequential. Here as the women go to the tomb the great plan of God is finished. By what has been accomplished at Calvary we can be forgiven of sin and have peace with God. The resurrection of Christ is the foundation of the Christian faith. We look to other tombs: Muhammad, Confucius, Buddha, Joseph Smith, even Charles Darwin, they all remain in their graves. Only Christ has risen. And with that resurrection comes the hope of eternal life to all who believe and place their faith in Jesus.