Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

 Women: Defenders of Faith

St. Mark 16:1–7
V 6 “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here….” 

The resurrection of Jesus Christ requires a response. After the Sabbath, three women – Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome – went to Jesus’ tomb to anoint His body with spices. It is clear from the passage that these women were expecting to find a sealed tomb and a dead body. They were not anticipating the resurrection. These women had every reason to think Jesus would still be dead when they approached the tomb, even though Christ had foretold what was going to take place. They were getting ready to put Jesus behind them and move on with their lives.
As the women approached the tomb, they see that the stone has been rolled away and Jesus’ body is gone. Also, inside the tomb, there is a mysterious man dressed in a white robe that proclaims to them that Jesus is not here because He is alive. He also tells them that they should go and inform His disciples to proceed to Galilee to continue the mission that Christ began. 

Ultimately, the message of the resurrection is proclaimed through this mysterious messenger. The message is succinct, but the point that is emphasized is that Jesus is alive and there is work to be done. God’s purposes were not thwarted by the cross; instead, they were fulfilled by the cross. And so, the disciples are called to move forward.

The message of the resurrection is not to remain at the empty tomb but is a call to move forward in faith. This is what is demonstrated in the lives of the women who came to the tomb. They came expecting to merely fulfill a ritual duty to pay respect to their deceased leader, but instead they were commissioned as witnesses to share the good news of Christ’s resurrection. They were called to move from despair and doubt to boldly proclaim the gospel of the resurrected Lord as defenders of faith. 

We must not just celebrate the resurrection of Christ; we must respond to it. We should not simply memorialize Jesus; we are called to trust and follow Him. Let us not merely commemorate Jesus, but let us dedicate our lives to Him as our living Lord. How will we respond to the message of the resurrection?

O Risen Lord, grant that we may be inwardly renewed, dying to ourselves in order that You may live in us. Make us faithful followers and defenders of faith by courageously proclaiming the message of Your resurrection. May our lives serve as signs of Your transforming power. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

 Thought for the Day
If you believe that Jesus was raised from the dead, the only valid response is total surrender to Him.

Rev. Christopher Phil Daniel
Diocesan Program Manager & Vicar of Jerusalem MTC, Connecticut

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