“When the Sabbath was passed, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome brought spices so that they might go and anoint him. Then very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb and they were saying to one another, ‘Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?’ And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back. It was very large and entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe and they were alarmed. And he said to them, ‘Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified. He has risen. He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 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.’ And they went out and fled from the tomb for trembling and astonishment had seized them and they said nothing to anyone for they were afraid.”
Oh, there’s so much we could talk about here on this Easter Sunday and pray according to in this passage. But I want to emphasize one thing before we pray, before we praise Jesus that he has risen from the dead, that he is not dead, that he is alive. What I want you to notice is how the gospel of Mark ends this passage and if you look in your Bible, you see that there’s a Mark chapter 16 verses nine through 20. But you’ll see a note that says some of the earliest manuscripts don’t include those last verses in Mark, and many believe that they were added on later. So think about what if indeed, this is the end of the gospel of Mark?
Jesus, we praise you today and every day, especially today for your resurrection from the grave.
And the last verse says, “They went out, fled from the tomb and said nothing to anyone for they were afraid.” We know Mark is writing his gospel to Christians who were being persecuted in the first century, who were facing temptations on every side to be silent with the good news of Jesus, death, resurrection from the grave. And Mark writes this gospel and leaves it on this note as if to say, “Don’t let this be the way your story ends with fear.” The fear of what others may think of you, what others may do to you if you proclaim Jesus. No, make this good news known in the world. And so, I want to lead us to pray today that this good news would spread today. That in churches where the gospel is proclaimed, that many people would come to faith in Jesus and that we would have renewed boldness as his followers to make this good news known to people right around us and people far from us.
That the end of our stories would not be they out of fear stayed silent with this good news. Jesus, we praise you today and every day, especially today for your resurrection from the grave. We praise you for conquering death. We praise you for defeating sin and Satan and the grave. All glory be to your name for what this means for our lives. For all who have trusted in you, that we have life forever in you, eternal life in you, we celebrate your life today. We praise you that we’re not just speaking into the sky, that you are alive, that you’ve ascended into heaven. That you’re coming back, that you are the risen and exalted Lord over all. All glory, be to your name, Jesus, we pray. We pray that you would deliver us from all fear and you would help us to proclaim this gospel with faith.
Today, we pray that you would bring friends and family members to trust in you today that you would help us to spread this news far and wide today. And this week in our spheres of influence, God may we have deeper resolve this week to proclaim Jesus as Lord, to people around us in need of your loving Lordship in their lives. And God, we pray for this. When we think about 7,000 people groups in the world, 3 billion people who have little to no knowledge of the gospel today, little to no knowledge of this good news of even your name, Jesus, God use us to change that. We pray. God, we pray to you to help us to make disciples of all the nations just like you told us to do after you rose from the dead. God, to help us to be faithful, to obey your commission, your plan to make the gospel known in all the nations of the earth.
God, that you would not let fear hold us back. God, that we would be obedient to your command. That others might know you as the risen and exalted Lord of their lives in Jesus name, we pray. Amen. And I just want to add for those who are listening. I know sometimes these podcast episodes get listened to later, but coming up on April 23rd, Radical is hosting a secret church, where we’re going to talk about this command to make disciples of all the nations and how we are missing it. We’re missing it today. How we’re not doing what Jesus commanded us to do to get the gospel to people who’ve never heard it and what needs to happen in our lives and our churches to change that.
I just want to invite you to be a part of that in your life, your family get together a group from your church to be a part of secret church. I’m praying that that night, April 23rd will bring about a tectonic shift in the way we view our lives and our churches and our purpose in this world on a daily basis in light of, in light of the resurrection of Jesus and the commission he’s given us. So you can find out more about that at secretchurch.org. April 23rd.