"When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And 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." - Mark 16:1-8
There is a moment during Mark's Gospel account of the resurrection of Jesus Christ that leaves the reader with a test of faith. Jesus has risen, the tomb is empty, and the angel appears to Mary, Mary, and Salome. They are obviously startled by the appearance, trembling with fear. Even more startling is his message to them: Jesus is alive!
The angel gives the women one instruction: tell the disciples to go to Galilee, where Jesus (risen from the dead!) will be waiting to see them. The message is relatively straightforward, minus the absolutely incredible miracle that has taken place in Jesus' rising from the dead. But, why do the disciples have to travel somewhere else to see Him? Why couldn't Jesus just appear to them, "poof," right where they were residing?
"Just go to Galilee. Jesus is there and waiting for you."
Personally, I believe that this was a testing of the disciples' faith. Furthermore, I believe that Mark's moment is a testing of our faith. Who will take Jesus at His word and go to Galilee to see Him? Who will believe in faith that He has risen? Will anyone go?
What is your Galilee?
Maybe your Galilee is the neighbor who lives across the hall or across the street that doesn't know Jesus. Maybe your Galilee is that secret sin that you've been trying to get away from for weeks and months, but haven't confessed yet. Maybe your Galilee is that extra sum of money you seem to have at the end of each month but don't want to sacrifice. Maybe your Galilee is taking the next step in being a servant within your church body.
Where is it that Jesus is calling you to meet Him? What is it that Jesus is inviting you to do faithfully in His name? Who is it that Jesus is commanding you to reach out to?
What is your Galilee?
Friends, the fact that Jesus Christ, Son of God, Lord of the Universe, is risen from the dead is the absolute best news that has ever been delivered in the history of life itself. Period. He died for you, He died for me, He died for everyone. Our sins have been washed away by the shedding of His perfectly sinless blood. And He is ALIVE!
So, what do we do with this kind of news? We share it! We run to tell the others that God has strategically placed in our lives. We can't not share it. It's too good and too beautiful to put in our pockets.
I pray that this good news produces excitement and urgency in you, not fear. I pray that you take a step in faith and obedience. I pray that you go to your Galilee today. Jesus is there and waiting to see you.
-written by Chase Cotten, Media Director at IDES