On resurrection morning, the three women who discovered an angel instead of Jesus’s body didn’t go away saying this…
“They will all think we’re weird you know, if we tell them that we saw an angel.” Walking away from the tomb, Mary Magdalene confessed her concerns to Salome and Mary the mother of James.
“Yeah, I’ve been thinking that too, but he told us to tell the disciples…and Peter. It’s a matter of obedience now.” Salome said.
“I know, I know, we’re under an obligation…so who wants to be the first to say that Jesus is alive? Not me. Why don’t you tell them, Mary?” Mary Magdalene urged.
“Uh, uh, not me. I’ve got an idea. Let’s draw straws. Whoever gets the short one has to pass on the news about the resurrection.” James’ mother suggested.
“Well, okay.” said Mary Magdalene.
“Alright…I guess. I just hope I don’t have to be the weirdo.” said Salome.
Right…I don’t think so. Of course the above conversation never happened…so what did happen? I’ll tell you what…the women found the disciples and couldn’t wait to get the news out. Of course, Mark tells us that they said nothing to anyone, but surely he means anyone other than the disciples. When they found the disciples, I’m guessing they were like three sisters in grade school who made some discovery in their backyard and couldn’t wait to tell their parents:
“I get to tell!” “No, I get to tell!” “No, me!”
You get the idea.
Yes, these women were astonished and trembling…and bursting with joy.
I imagined this conversation because of a quote I heard recently. And so I will close with the following insightful word from Lesslie Newbigin…
“There has been a long tradition which sees the mission of the Church primarily as obedience to a command. It has been customary to speak of ‘the missionary mandate.’ This way of putting the matter is certainly not without justification, and yet it seems to me that it misses the point. It tends to make mission a burden rather than a joy, to make it part of the law rather than part of the gospel. If one looks at the New Testament evidence one gets another impression. Mission begins with a kind of explosion of joy. The news that the rejected and crucified Jesus is alive is something that cannot possibly be suppressed. It must be told. Who could be silent about such a fact? The mission of the Church in the pages of the New Testament is more like the fallout from a vast explosion, a radioactive fallout which is not lethal but life-giving.”
Lesslie Newbigin, The Gospel in a Pluralist Society (Grand Rapids, 1989), page 116
Tuesday, May 5: 1 Corinthians 1