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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Num 23:12 and Mark 16:8 "Stunned, Swimming, Silent" (March 18)

Am I stunned when Jesus does something for me? What do I do with that?  Do I go silent?

Mary, Salome, and Mary Magdalene could not believe the stone was rolled away from the grave of Jesus. "They got out as fast as they could, beside themselves, their heads swimming.  Stunned, they said nothing to anyone." Mark 16:8. 

What an end to the Gospel story breathed through Mark.
The moment they hoped for...Resurrection..
.and the three women entered great confusion as to what to do.

This L-shaped tomb confirms verse 5---
they looked to the "right" and saw an angel. 
The body is atypically laid to the right in this rare tomb in the Holy City.
I gasped when I walked into the hallowed hole in Jerusalem
And gazed to the right, expecting to find an angel. 

Numbers 23:12 "Must I not take care to speak what the LORD puts in my mouth?"  How could the 3 women go silent???

Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene, you know, the woman who had 7 demons cast out. The disciples did not believe "her."  Nor did they believe that Jesus appeared to two unnamed fellas.  Jesus could have gone straight to John or Peter, the ones who look spiritual.  The ones waiting for Him to show up on their agenda.  No!  This verse means much to me because people don't give much stock to this no-name person over here---me. My head swims in disbelief like that demon-possessed girl.  Does what I have to say matter to anyone?

Mark makes a point.  Jesus comes to Mary Magdalene in the course of her daily life.  Peterson says that this is really hard for Mary and you and me.  It's not hard to applaud the making of a miracle--- cheering blind eyes that now see, shaking dead girls and boys back to life--- but this...

"Resurrection turns the tables.  No longer am I doing something for God; He is doing something for me.  No longer am I drawn by my needs to God; He is drawn by His compassion to me, whether I'm ready for Him or not, whether I feel anything for Him or not.  That means you and I are not in charge; He is.  That means that you and I aren't coming to God; He is coming to us.  We never expected that.  Like the 3 women at Christ's tomb, we are beside ourselves, our heads swimming, stunned.  For it means the end of one way of life in which we know where we stand, and the beginning of another in which we don't know what will happen next."  Eugene Peterson

1 comment:

  1. The quote from Eugene Peterson is giving me much food for thought this Sabbath morning. I consider it the Sabbath even though it is not the Jewish Sabbath. It is the day set aside for corporate worship and that to me is the Sabbath. The thought that He now comes to me instead of me coming to Him will stay with me for a very long time. Thanks Bev for the insight and blessing.