In Mark chapter 16:1-8, we see the reaction of the women who went to Jesus' tomb on Easter morning.
Mark 16:1–8 (ESV) The Resurrection 16 When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. 2 And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. 3 And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” 4 And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back—it was very large. 5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. 6 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. 7 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.” 8 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. These women did not expect a resurrection and their response to the news shows it. In 16:8 they "fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid." In our culture, we usually think of the word "fear" as something bad and not in a positive light. However, in the Gospel of Mark, there are several times people respond to Jesus in astonishment and awe.
Mark 1:21–22 (ESV) Jesus Heals a Man with an Unclean Spirit 21 And they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath he entered the synagogue and was teaching. 22 And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes. Mark 2:12 (ESV) 12 And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!” Mark 4:41 (ESV) 41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” Mark 5:33 (ESV) 33 But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. Mark 5:42 (ESV) 42 And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. Mark 6:51 (ESV) 51 And he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, So when we read about the response of awe and trembling by these women in Mark 16:8, we should be inclined to understand this response as a positive thing. This is confirmed for us when we look at the parallel account of the response of these women in Matthew 28:8 "So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples." What these responses in the Gospel of Mark show us is that Jesus is someone who should fill us with amazement. We should be utterly amazed by how distinct our Savior is and his greatness should fill us with reverence and awe.
Now that Easter has come and gone I hope you will continue to remember the wonder of the resurrection and how we would be refreshed daily at how shockingly marvelous his grace and mercy is.
Grace and peace,P. Kenny