He’s Risen!

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They cannot go to the tomb in the darkness, partly because they shrink from handling a dad body in pitch blackness, and partly because it would be difficult to carry out the anointing without light. But as soon as the sun rises off they go. And then they remember the stone. Who will roll it away? They have no idea, but they press on regardless. Something will turn up. When they get there the stone has already been rolled away, but as they enter the tomb the see a terrifying sight: a figure in white seated. He tries to calm their fears, pointing to the place where the body of Jesus had lain. There is nothing there. “He’s not here! He’s risen!” They flee, terror-struck; and with that word Mark ends his Gospel.

It is, surely, the most remarkable ending in the history of literature: ephobounto gar, “for they were afraid”. Enigmatic though it is, it strikes a keynote. In the resurrection we are in the presence of the uncanny; of the irreducibly holy; of that for which we can offer no explanation.

-Donald Macleod (Christ Crucified, 68)

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