Fearful Easter

I am fascinated by Mark’s account of Easter. Read Chapter 16 of Mark’s Gospel and the first problem is where to end. Most modern versions will break after verse 8 and indicate that some early manuscripts finish at verse 8 whilst others included either a short one verse ending or the longer ending of verses 9-20. Most commentators will agree that verses 9-20 are by a different author but then the questions are, “Did Mark intend to finish at verse 8 or was there more to come? Was the original ending lost or was Mark overtaken by the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans?”
The problem with ending at v8 is that the story appears unfinished, the women have gone to the tomb and found it open with Jesus’ body missing, they are told that he has risen and to “go, tell his disciples” but they “they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid”
And that is it – no resurrection story, no explanation, no nice neat resolution, no new appearance by Jesus – just that stark fearful statement and an empty stage.
I believe that that this is where Mark intended his writing to end, but not his gospel. Throughout the gospel the invitation is to follow Jesus and now if the stage is to be filled, if the story is to continue the reader has a decision to make – follow or flee? The challenge is as real today as it was then, the risk of following or play safe? Enter the stage or remain in the audience watching? Be bold or be fearful? “This is “the beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God” (Mk 1:1)
Be blessed

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