Reading the last chapter of Mark’s Gospel reminds me of the ending of all the books that I’ve read which are part 1 of a trilogy… they leave you questioning and wondering whats going to happen next. Of maybe thats what it was like for the original readers of Dicken’s novels when they were serialised. Anyway, its that sort of thing- you get to verse 8, which some think is the final line in the original, and the women haven’t met Jesus, they haven’t told anyone- they’ve just seen an empty tomb and been given the message ‘don’t be alarmed’. Nothing to see here, especially as the man you’ve come to embalm isn’t dead anymore.
Or if you read the rest of the chapter, its like a speed epilogue that wraps up things in doublequick time- Jesus was seen here, he met these people, he did that… and then draws to a close. Mark’s version has similarities but is also significantly different from the other Gospels.
The most important bit, though, is that Jesus still appeared to people, and still sent out his followers into the world…
Oh, and of course, the rules have changed now- dead blokes not staying dead, the sick being healed, women being given positions of authority, the outcasts being welcomed home.
Welcome to the new reality. Now its time to live there.