Welcome to Episode #75 of the Sunday Scripture Podcast! Today we read an incredibly significant story to Christians. Having hastily placed Jesus in tomb because it was getting dark, walking away heartbroken that they had lost their loved one in such a violent way, reflecting on every aspect that went so fast in front of their eyes, three people go back to the tomb to properly care for his body. They want closure, they want to care for their loved one, they surely want to cry, and then this happens...
Mark 16: 1-8 Common English Bible (CEB)
When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they could go and anoint Jesus’ dead body.2 Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they came to the tomb.3 They were saying to each other, “Who’s going to roll the stone away from the entrance for us?” 4 When they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away. (And it was a very large stone!) 5 Going into the tomb, they saw a young man in a white robe seated on the right side; and they were startled. 6 But he said to them, “Don’t be alarmed! You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified.[a] He has been raised. He isn’t here. Look, here’s the place where they laid him. 7 Go, tell his disciples, especially Peter, that he is going ahead of you into Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you.” 8 Overcome with terror and dread, they fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.
Three Points of Discussion
Quote #1 - Dealing with death is inevitably complex. Grief is almost always in the forefront. But other, less mentionable feelings swirl through the experience as well—relief, to name one. For the things that lead to death frequently place heavy burdens on those who only stand and wait—the stress of caregiving, the anxiety of finances, the challenge of placing one’s own life on hold, and the boredom of numbing sameness as one day unfolds into the next with no change in the situation. As deeply as grief may go, certain gains accompany the loss that death brings. Though we are generally disinclined to publicize it, we are often relieved as well as grieved when death comes. One of the reasons we bear up so well postmortem is that we are buoyed by this sense of relief. David L. Bartlett and Barbara Brown Taylor. Feasting on the Word: Year B, Volume 2: Lent through Eastertide (Feasting on the Word: Year B volume) (Kindle Locations 12508-12513). Presbyterian Publishing Corporation. Kindle Edition.
Quote #2 - The women on their way to anoint Jesus’ body in the tomb were no exception. Their intended act was one of deep devotion. It was a last act of personal and religious loyalty, no doubt undertaken as one more step by which they might work through the obvious pain and loss Jesus’ crucifixion had brought upon them. Thus it promised closure. But in this case the closure was closure not just upon an important personal relationship, but also closure on a world-embracing dream. They were making peace not only with the death of a person but with the death of God, with the death of Jesus’ claim to embody the reign of God for the well-being of the world. Thus they had uncommon reason to grieve deeply and profoundly, and somehow to make peace with the death of this dream. David L. Bartlett and Barbara Brown Taylor. Feasting on the Word: Year B, Volume 2: Lent through Eastertide (Feasting on the Word: Year B volume) (Kindle Locations 12514-12519). Presbyterian Publishing Corporation. Kindle Edition.
Quote #3 - Mark recognized, as many contemporary Easter preachers do not, that one does not need to illustrate or elaborate on the triumph of Easter. What the preacher is called to do is to bring his or her worshiping community into direct and immediate encounter with the cosmic transformation that is the resurrection. The words with which Mark ends—“So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid”—are the necessary beginning point of any Easter proclamation. David L. Bartlett and Barbara Brown Taylor. Feasting on the Word: Year B, Volume 2: Lent through Eastertide (Feasting on the Word: Year B volume) (Kindle Locations 12627-12631). Presbyterian Publishing Corporation. Kindle Edition.
Our hope is to provide any individual, teacher, or pastor with a comprehensive look at the lectionary text for Sunday through our podcast, blog, and social media posts