Monday, May 21, 2012

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ, According to the Gospel of Mark

Today's Reading:
  • Mark 16:1 - 20
  • Psalm 55:1 - 23
Read Bible Passages Online

Mark 16:1 - 20
Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome were the first to approach the tomb of Jesus after the resurrection.  As they walked to the tomb, burial spices in hand, they wondered amongst themselves how they would manage to roll away the very large stone that covered the entrance to the tomb.

When they arrived at the tomb they were surprised to see it was open, and a man (an angel) clothed in white told them that Jesus wasn't there -- he had been resurrected, and they were to find and tell the disciples that Jesus would go ahead of them to Galilee.  

 The disciples did not believe the women.  Later, Jesus appeared to two of His followers and they also told the others and were met with disbelief.  Finally, the Lord appeared to the eleven disciples as they were eating.  He rebuked them for refusing to believe in the resurrection and commanded them to preach the Word to the entire world. 

Right before the close of the book of Mark, there is a quote from Jesus that caught my attention: (16:17 - 18):
These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe:  They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages.  They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won't hurt them.  They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.
These are strong promises for fellow believers in Christ.  Casting out demons, speaking in tongues, snake handling and healing are all things that believers in Christ can do.  It doesn't say that some believers in Christ can do these things, it doesn't say only priests can do these things -- no, it says anyone who believes will be able to do these things.  I have yet to read anything (besides this short excerpt) about gifts of the spirit. I can't wait to read more about the topic.

I have finished the second book of the New Testament and am happy to move on to the book of Luke in my next reading.  It's always so exciting when I get to crack open a new book of the Bible.  And the Lord has risen, Amen!

Psalm 55:1 - 23
In this psalm David talks about how hurtful it is when a friend turns against you. David says that he can handle enemies and arrogance from enemies, but not when the offender is was a close companion.

Do you ever notice how the people we love have more power to hurt us than anyone else?  These are the people we let into our lives and into our hearts, and therefore betrayal by them burns us deep inside.

David was suffering at the hands of his enemies, and at the hand of those he used to call friends.  At one point in the psalm, David says (5:6-7):
Oh, that I had wings like a dove; then I would fly away and rest!  I would fly far away to the quiet wilderness.
No matter how much sorrow and hurt we face in this world, we are different from those who are not believers -- we have perfect peace and utter rest awaiting to greet us when our life ends.  Gone will be all the sorrow, hurt and hate.  Peace, tranquility, happiness, praise and worship will fill us instead.  So praise the Lord now! For that is the future of the believer in Christ.

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