I’m struck again by the strangeness of the ending of Mark’s gospel. No angels. No visitations. No Emmaus. No breakfast. Just silence .
And they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid
Mark 16: 8
Jesus is alive - the best news ever! But Mark gives us no account of the risen Jesus, just the fear and silence of his followers. I know that there are alternative endings to Mark - at least two of them. But I’m certain that Mark intended to end in this strange way. And I’m glad he did - it’s a great comfort to me.
Though Jesus followers fail him even at the resurrection, still the gospel goes on. Despite the silence of those followers, the message gets out. Jesus is alive!
We sometimes talk as though the ’success’ of the gospel depends on us. If only we would follow this program, use that prayer scheme, read the Bible in such a way, worship in a particular style - then God would bless us and all would be well. But the message of Mark is that at best the followers of Jesus are only ever playing ‘catch up’ with him. If a tomb could not contain him, then the failure of his followers will not constrain him either.
I find that curiously reassuring.