Worst. Ending. Ever
The most remarkable part of this passage is not what is here, but what is missing. This is not how the story is supposed to go, is it? There is no weeping Mary being comforted by the gardener. There is no race to the tomb or clean linen folded up. There is no fish breakfast or walk to Emmaus. There isn’t even Jesus! What kind of Easter story is this?
There is an empty tomb. There is a strange man with words of reassurance, but it ends with fear and silence. The story ends with the words “they said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.” Worst. Ending. Ever.
This is actually the perfect ending to the Gospel of Mark, because it is no ending at all. Today, on Easter, we decide. Is Jesus alive? If not, go about your lives unchanged. If Jesus is dead, then that is the end of the story. Go home, and worry no more about this strange man from Galilee.
But the man said “Go back to Galilee.” Go back to where it all began and Jesus will meet you there. Go back to the beginning of the story. Remember the first words of the Gospel of Mark, “The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God” Those words did not describe the first chapter of Mark. They are the title of the whole book. Mark has no ending because the truth is, it is just the beginning. This is the beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ. We who wake up on Easter morning are the ones who write the rest of the story. Go and live the good news. Go and write your ending.
Go and Tell!
Robb McCoy is the pastor of Two Rivers UMC in Rock Island, Illinois; and a producer of the Pulpit Fiction Podcast.
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