On Easter the women bring spices to the tomb to anoint the corpse of their hope. They said to each other, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?”
The women then look up and see that the stone had been rolled back. I am thankful for that reminder that I need to look up and see that the stone has been rolled back. It is so easy to remain downcast in my view and miss the work that God has accomplished.
Entering the tomb, the women saw a young man sitting on the right side. This young man, this messenger of God, shared an eternal message of comfort, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.”
The stone rolled back, the young man in a white robe, the message of the angel…but in Mark 16:1-8 there is no appearance by the resurrected Jesus for us to see. This abrupt ending in the Gospel of Mark invites the readers to become the witnesses to the resurrection. It is in the community of believers that we share with each other how the story continues. We share with each other that Easter is happening.
In the Gospel of Mark the story of Easter is told with eyes downcast that look up to see the stone rolled back. The story continues with the promise, “he is going before you.”