Text: Mark 16:1-8

Sunday March 31, 2024 -Easter Sunday

Trinity Lutheran Church – Creston/Mount Ayr.


       Grace, mercy, and peace is yours from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!


       Our text for this Easter Sunday is the Gospel lesson from Mark 16 that was just proclaimed.


Let Us Pray:  Dearest Jesus, send your Holy Spirit to remind us that amidst the realities of this earthly life, the eternal reality of the resurrection gives those who believe in you and your saving work the comfort and peace that connected (baptized) into you will sustain us today and prepare us for eternity.  Amen.


Dear Fellow Redeemed in Christ:


“Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid” (v 8 NIV).


These ladies were trembling, bewildered, and afraid. And why? Had they just learned about some tragedy? Had somebody just died?


Well, yes. But no! Here is the message they had just heard from an angel of God: “You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen” (v 6)!


Let me ask: What would cause more confusion and bewilderment—to learn that someone close to you had just died, or to learn that a loved one has just come back to life? What would be more confusing—to hear about a death or a resurrection?


I know what causes more pain. But what is more unexpected and, in that sense, really unsettling?


To us it seems strange at first that people would respond in bewilderment and fear to the message of Easter. But if we really think about what the message of the resurrection means, it is truly a life-jarring message, especially the first time someone hears it. In fact,

Christ’s Resurrection
Is a Life-Jarring, Startling New Reality.

The goal of this Easter message is that you share the totally new life and outlook that the surprising, even life-jarring news of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead gives.


These three women that went to Jesus’ tomb on Easter morning were also near the cross when he died. His death brought them great sorrow and disappointment. No doubt they found it almost impossible to believe that this kind, loving Jesus could be hated, killed by their leaders.


But death itself likely didn’t startle them. They were familiar with death, with having loved ones die. In the ancient world, many died young, with an average life expectancy in Jesus’ day of not even forty years of age.


Moreover, people in those days saw the reality of death up close. Think about what these women had come to do when they encountered the angel that first Easter morning. They had come to put spices on the corpse of Jesus.


To do this, they would have to handle his dead body. That was common. People were used to it. No nice, sterile funeral homes and licensed morticians in those days. They were used to handling dead bodies, just like they were used to death being all around.


Today we do spend a lot of money and pay other people to make corpses look as lifelike as possible. It’s one way to try to help deal with the pain of death. But as hard as that is, death is not unexpected for us either. Especially for many older people, death has been an all-too-common part of life. If we reach a certain age ourselves, we likely see many of our friends and family go before us.


And so, even though we would like to avoid it, it does not surprise us to see death notices and obituary listings or to turn on the news and hear about sad, tragic ends of life.


We also read in the Bible that death comes to all people because all sin. “The wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23), we read. “The soul who sins shall die” (Ezek 18:4), says the prophet.


No, death is not a surprise.


Now let’s talk about the resurrection. Not death, but resurrection is strange to us. Life coming out of death—having a dead loved one come back to life and walk on this earth in a human body, eat food and talk to people, as Jesus did. Now, that’s really different. That’s startling! I’ve never seen it, and neither have you.


After these women reported to the other disciples what they were told, the disciples couldn’t believe it either. It just didn’t seem right: rise from the dead? Jesus had tried to tell them he would rise after death, but that message had not registered in their thinking.


Therefore, the angel reminded the women, “He is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you” (v 7). That’s why when Jesus did appear to the disciples, he demonstrated to all that it was really he and that he really did rise bodily from the dead.


Remember Thomas putting his hand in the wounds? Recall Jesus eating breakfast with the disciples on the shore? It really was Jesus! He really did come back to life!


The disciples likely didn’t realize right away the huge implication this would have on their lives. They just knew that this makes life really different. But later they would come to realize that this startling new reality unleashed a life-changing dynamic that would affect all of our lives.


Ponder this for your life:


Jesus’ resurrection means that all of your sin is forgiven. His resurrection proved that his death was sufficient to pay for all of your sin.


Jesus’ resurrection means that you, too, will rise from the dead, as Paul writes: “Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Cor 15:20).


Jesus’ resurrection means that everything about your life right now has changed. It is new. You have a certain hope based on a new reality that even death cannot disappoint. Every day right now is lived with the certainty that “my Redeemer lives” to “bless me with his love;


. . . to help in time of need. . . . [To] grant me rich supply; . . . to guide me with his eye; . . . to hear my soul’s complaint. . . . [To] wipe away my tears,” and all the rest. And, oh, yeah, for that last day, “my mansion to prepare” (LSB 461:1, 3–5, 7).


When I think of this new resurrection reality as revealed by the experience of the women, it makes me think of faithful Christians at funerals. After all, these three ladies went to prepare Jesus’ body for burial.


Consider the comparison: The mourners gather at the church, viewing their deceased loved one’s body for the final time. The pain of death and the emotions of grief weigh heavy. Those closest to the person have made many preparations in only a few days. It has been a stressful time.


 After the casket is closed and they come into the sanctuary, their minds are on the one they lost, on how life must go on without their dear departed friend. But then, they hear a startling message.



It begins with words like those of Paul, who wrote, “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Rom 6:4).


It continues with songs like that very Easter hymn “I Know That My Redeemer Lives” (LSB 461). As the preacher proclaims the promises of Christ’s resurrection in his sermon, they begin to adjust to the new, amazing reality of death being defeated—for their loved one who died in the faith and for them!


Therefore, the new life that comes from the resurrection of Christ means that we approach everything, funerals included, in a new way. We no longer need to think in terms of avoiding the reality of death or pushing thoughts of Judgment Day out of our minds.


Jesus did rise from the dead, just as he said! His resurrection promises us new life, eternal life with God! We, therefore, can get used to a new way of thinking, because Christ changed everything when he rose from the dead!


By the power of the Holy Spirit, you can get used to and live this new life in the hope and peace of God, which truly does surpass all human understanding, which, because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, will guard your hearts and minds unto life everlasting! Amen.



Now may the peace of God in Christ Jesus guard and keep is in the one true faith until life everlasting…Amen.