This article on Mark 16:7 is about the reunion of Jesus and his disciples after his resurrection. Through the benefits of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, his disciples can once again live in peace with their Saviour.

Source: Clarion, 2007. 2 pages.

Mark 16:7 - Reunion

But go, tell his disciples and Peter...

Mark 16:7a

On Sunday morning following his death on the cross, Jesus Christ rose from the dead. He who came down from heaven and took upon Himself our flesh, He who was crucified, dead, and buried, overcame death. Neither death nor grave could hold Him captive. No longer was He under the curse of the cross. He conquered sin and Satan. In Jesus the saying has come true,

Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?

Jesus was not the only one victorious. Scripture says that He is the firstborn from the dead. There are benefits for his believers, too. As the Heidelberg Catechism states in Answer 45, “First, by his resurrection He has overcome death, so that He could make us share in the righteousness which He had obtained for us by his death. Second, by his power we too are raised up to a new life. Third, Christ’s resurrection is to us a sure pledge of our glorious resurrection.” The benefits of Christ’s resurrection are forgiveness of sins, renewal of life, and eternal fellowship with the Son.

Two angels who were present Sunday morning at the empty tomb proclaimed the truth of Christ’s resurrection to the women who came there. They said, “He has risen! He is not here!” They further proclaimed the benefits of Christ’s resurrection for those who believed in Him. “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.’”

How does the message and reminder of a reunion between Jesus and his disciples proclaim the benefits of the resurrection?

Consider that even with the news of Jesus’ resurrection, the disciples may have felt they were in no position to go to Galilee. How could they, after they had abandoned Jesus? But precisely when the disciples did not feel worthy to be Jesus’ disciples, He brings to them the message and benefits of the resurrection: forgiveness, renewal, and fellowship. Note that they were referred to as his disciples. They were still his disciples, even though in the hour of bitter trial they left Him and fled. They were still his disciples, even though in the hours after the death and burial, they were hiding in fear and shame. These words of the Lord to his disciples are evidence of his tender, forgiving love. Despite their shortcomings and weaknesses, Jesus was still calling them in love to repent and find in Him blessed forgiveness. On the basis of that forgiveness, the planned reunion could take place.

Consider further that the Lord said through the angel, “and Peter.” Peter was singled out. Why? The Lord will minister to Peter in a special way on account of his personal denials during Jesus’ trial. Of all the disciples, Peter experienced the greatest shame and horror in abandoning Christ. Previously, Peter boldly promised that even if everyone else deserted Jesus in the hour of truth, he would not. He said he was prepared even to go to death with the Lord if that was necessary. In the end however, Peter produced those terrible denials, which were accompanied by the swearing of an oath and the calling down of curses. Therefore the Lord addressed him specifically with a word of love and forgiveness. Peter too should consider himself part of the circle of the disciples. Through his repentance and the forgiveness of Jesus, Peter should be at the planned reunion also.

Mark records for us this beautiful little touch. The angels’ words directed toward the disciples and Peter demonstrate the power of Christ’s work, overcoming Satan, sin and death. They clearly show the benefits of Christ’s saving work confirmed in the resurrection.

Jesus’ words of assurance for his disciples and Peter are also for us, today. Even though we were conceived and born in sin, and thus by nature are subject to all sorts of misery, including condemnation, we may still, by his grace, be joined to Him. Although often we show weakness of faith and lack of trust, so that in a sense we abandon Him and deny Him, Christ offers us his full forgiveness. Today we can abide in Him and enjoy unity with God, thanks to his sacrifice on the cross and the power of his resurrection. Furthermore, one day there will be a meeting in the air. When Jesus Christ returns on the clouds of heaven, He will gather to Himself all his chosen ones, and they will enjoy his presence and rejoice in his forgiveness forever and ever!

Therefore we need to ask: Do we know our sins? Have we abandoned the Lord? Let us repent and seek the Lord’s presence and trust his promise. Let us not doubt his Word. In the gospel of the Resurrection, we may know that Jesus is a merciful and gracious Saviour, who shows us his tender forgiving love.

He wants us at the reunion.

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