Easter Sunday B

Picture

 


    Mark 16:1-8 Empty Tomb

    Initial Thoughts

    • Feasting on the Word- FAIL!
    • What makes this story different from the other Gospels?

    Bible Study

    • The Three Endings - We like the disciples are not content with Jesus’ passion predictions and the lack of a resurrection appearance - we demand closure
      • Mark 16:8b is added as a rounded out summation, Mark 16:9-20 is added later but is known by second century
      • Both endings are additions, most scholars agree that Mark 16:8a is the original ending- even though it is disturbing and seemingly unfinished
      • The Gospel of Peter also end with an empty tomb
      • Women come to the tomb when the disciples are hiding in fear (at least according to Matthew and Luke)
    • Women are no better than the disciples- they come expecting a dead Jesus and once again abandon Jesus in silence and fear
      • Timing is specific (as it always in in Mark) - after the Sabbath, first day of the week - 3 days (Friday, Saturday, Sunday)
      • They do not come expecting the resurrection but the dead body (in this they are just as unbelieving as the disciples)
      • “Who will roll away the stone for us?” is the only comment from the women
    • Young man
      • Angel or the reclothed young man from Gethsemane (Mark 14:51-52)?
        • Angel: White clothes depict holiness, fear is the proper response to angelic appearances
        • Man: restoration of relationships - “All of them deserted him and fled” v. 50 - then the young man in a linen cloth abandons Jesus and leaves naked. The man is here again clothed (much like Adam and Eve) and relationship is restored. The young man tells them to tell all the disciples (including Peter) to meet Jesus in Galilee - insinuating Jesus’ impending forgiveness of Peter’s denial
        • Restoration of relationship - Peter and the disciples...including Judas? No mention of Judas since the betrayal
    • Galilee - A circular gospel?
      • Readers: Return to Galilee which is the beginning  of the Gospel - want to see Jesus? Read the Gospel
      • Disciples- Begin your ministry where Jesus began his. In sharing the good news in word and deed you will encounter the resurrected Christ
    • Resurrection
      • The justification of the righteous. Jesus resurrected was God’s way of vindicating Jesus.

    Sermon Thoughts and Questions

    • Are we content with an empty tomb and the command to begin our ministry in light of an empty cross? Do we need Jesus to tell us exactly what to do after being raised or do we know from his ministry in life unto death on the cross?
    • How often do we get caught up in the foolish particularities (who will roll away the stone) and over look the good news (Jesus said he would rise again- his life is marked with victory over death)? Perhaps the devil truly in in the details by tempting us toward problem solving instead of moving us toward faith.
    • You are the end of the story. We want to have a nice concise ending- a sweet story to send children to bed with - But the good news is not just about the story, but the story which moves us to action. You are the end of the Gospel. You want to experience the resurrected Christ? Live as he lived, love as he loved, forgive as he forgave, and believe and he believed and you will experience Jesus.
    • What would the church look like if we were less concerned with the resurrection (eternal life/heaven/etc) and more concerned with living as Jesus lived (even if it means our own death)?

    1 Corinthians 15:1-11

    Initial Thoughts

    • Don’t preach from this. Tell the Easter story, not Paul talking about the Easter story.
    • Paul invented the humble brag.

    Bible Study

    • You are saved through the good news, which is this:
      • “Christ died for our sins. He was buried, and on the third day he rose.”
      • The proof of his resurrection is in all those that saw it:
        • (Leaves out the women who first witnessed the resurrection. Paul’s letters predate Gospels, so he may not have been privy to that information, or he may have intentionally left it out of his account. It is hard to believe that Gospel writers would have inserted it because women were not trustworthy witnesses)
        • Peter
        • The Twelve
        • 500 others, some still alive.
        • James
        • Rest of the Apostles
        • Me (Paul)
      • The power of God rests on the reality of the resurrection.
    • The resurrection of Christ is the keystone upon which all of Christianity is built.
      • If there is no resurrection, then death on Cross is the end of the story.
        • If there is no resurrection, then there is no point in Jesus’ life. There is no good news. There is just the execution of a righteous man.
          • Nadia Bolz Weber (paraphrase) “I don’t think the early martyrs died for a good story, or for a good feeling they had after Jesus died.”
          • Go beyond lection, and see that Jesus’ resurrection is about more than just who Jesus is, it is about who we are promised to be. We are invited to be resurrection people, but if the first resurrection didn’t happen, then we are simply lost.
    • Clearly trying to convince Corinthians of a few things
      • Paul didn’t make this stuff up.
      • Resurrection is important.
      • Grace does not come from merit.

    Sermon Thoughts and Questions

    • Easter matters. All of what we do rests on this idea that Christ was raised from the dead. Everything is for naught if there is no resurrection. What however, is the nature of the resurrection. As Paul said, we were born at the wrong time. Can we still be witnesses to the resurrection of Christ? Clearly, Paul’s witness of the Resurrection was different than that of Peter, but was just as life-altering. What about our experience of the Resurrection.
    • Resurrection is not awarded by merit. There is no deserving resurrection. There is only God’s grace. Response to grace is also important. If we do not respond to grace by sharing the good news, then the grace is “for nothing.” How do we respond to the threat of cheap grace? How do we make the resurrection count?
    • “You are being saved through it…” Salvation is an ongoing process of hearing, believing, and doing the good news.

    Acts 10:34-43

    • The theme for all of the texts on Easter is God’s victory over death.
    • These are Peter’s words at the home of Cornelius, who had gathered friends and relatives to hear Peter. In the previous passage, it is revealed that Cornelius is a Roman Centurion, but “a righteous man, and a God-worshipper who is well-respected by all Jewish people.”
    • This setting is very important - and Peter even says so immediately before this speech, which is about God’s mercy being open to all.
    • Jesus’ ministry was that of “doing good and healing everyone oppressed.” Jesus did this, and for it, he was killed.
    • Peter declares that they were not only witnesses to his life and ministry, but also to his resurrection.
    • The resurrection is a sign that all Jesus did on earth should be carried on. The resurrection is proof that Jesus is Lord of the living and the dead - all things.
    • Immediately afterwards, this group of Romans began to speak in tongues, and were baptized.
    • After this episode with the Roman gentiles, Peter is questioned by the Jerusalem Church.