The Awakening to the natural which is super-natural
Mark 16: 1-8 (NIVUK)
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.
At the end of Chapter 15 we read that the women who were at the foot of the cross witnessed the tomb into which Joseph of Arimathea placed the body of Jesus. Early in the next morning they’re returning to spread perfume over the a very dead body. They had no expectation of what was to happen. They wondered even if their mission would be in vain. They had no means of removing the huge stone sealing the entrance.
Now the writer tells what happened. They arrive the stone has been rolled back, the grave is empty, except for a young man dressed in white who tells them Jesus is alive and they have to be the messengers to tell the others. At this the women are scared stiff run out and tell no one.
Most scholars believe that the original version of Mark’s Gospel ends at what we now know as verse 8. It is thought that there could have been a lost section to the gospel because the narrative is set up in such a way that the bewildered women will find a new confidence to tell their story to the disciples in order that they in turn will meet the risen Christ in Galilee. While all this may well be the case, it is interesting to note in these verses the reality of their resurrection awakening. It took time for the reality to sink in.
Trembling hands broken pots
I see trembling hands
And troubled hearts
I think I hear the sound of
Tumbling down on stone
Filling an empty tomb
No body to anoint
Just ashen faces
White like robes
Reflecting heavenly light
A rude awakening
at four in the morning
It’s enough to make the bravest hearts tremble
Awaken my heart that I too
might tremble at your awesome power.