This is the last excerpt from Miracles in Mark. I hope you have enjoyed them! Just click here Miracles in Mark to order your a copy.
The presence of the angel gives weight to the fact that the tomb is empty. The empty tomb itself would not have been an indicator to the women that Jesus was alive. The women would just be wondering what had happened to His body. They had seen Him die. People did not just walk away from being crucified. The women did not come to the tomb anticipating the resurrection. The angel’s announcement that Jesus had risen provided the women with the revelation to go along with the empty tomb.
The angel entrusts the women with the message of Jesus’s resurrection. They are instructed to go and “tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’” The disciples had deserted Jesus and fled, leaving Him to His fate on the night of His arrest. Peter had denied knowing Jesus three times. The angel’s words here convey forgiveness and the restoration to fellowship. The disciples will see Jesus again on this side of eternity. This is the message that the angel entrusts to the women.
The next verse, however, seems to imply that the women disobeyed the angel’s directive. “They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.” In reality, we know from the other Gospels that the women did tell the disciples what they had seen and heard. Hendriksen understands this verse to mean that the women did not stop on the way to talk with anyone because they were afraid. Mark’s narrative does end, though, on a note that would leave the reader wondering what happened, if they were not already familiar with the story. Did the women pass the message on to the disciples as the angel directed them? Did they eventually encounter the resurrected Jesus?
It is intriguing that Mark would end his Gospel on this note of human fear and weakness. At the same time, however, this has been a recurring theme throughout his Gospel. The resurrection is the culmination of a theme that Mark has developed at length in his book. That theme is the fact that divine power can overcome human weakness. Over and over again, Jesus demonstrated the power of God against sickness, demonic possession, and even nature itself. When confronted by the shocked and grief stricken father who had just lost his daughter, Jesus told Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” To the father of the severely possessed boy, Jesus told him, “Everything is possible for him who believes.” Here, the resurrection takes what appears to be the ultimate defeat and turns it into the ultimate victory.