Resurrection: '...he is going ahead of you to Galilee...'

In the weeks after Easter our Melbourne CBD staff are taking some time to reflect on the significance of Jesus' resurrection. The early Christian communities had different stories about the resurrected Jesus, and different ideas about what the resurrection meant, so we have been having a look at some of the different perspectives and how they might help us in our work.

The first week after Easter we had a look at the account of the resurrection in Mark's gospel:

When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and 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. They had been saying to one another, ‘Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?’ When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, ‘Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.’ So 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.
(Mark 16:1-8, NRSV)

The earliest versions of Mark's gospel finish here, with Jesus still out in Galilee, the rural fringe of Israel, waiting for disciples to come and find him there. Since the gospel ends with the disciples too afraid to say or do anything, it is up to us as readers to go to Galilee and find where Jesus is waiting for us. We are being invited to go to the margins of our own neighbourhoods, because Jesus is still out there.

- Christop Booth, Faith Engagement Coordinator