Daily Readings and Thought for August 21st. “TREMBLING AND ASTONISHMENT … SEIZED THEM”


The final chapter of Mark’s gospel tells us of the reaction of the 3 women who came first to the tomb. A “young man,” most evidently an angel, 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. “[v.6].   Ponder their feelings! It causes us to think what our reaction is going to be when it is evident that Jesus is returning – or has returned!

Those 3 who came to the tomb first “fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid…” Mary Magdalene also came to the tomb, and v.10 tells us, “he appeared first to Mary Magdalene” (and we read of this in detail in John 20 from v.1.)

Was the reaction of those who came to the tomb first – understandable?  What will our reaction be if we are alive when it is evident that Jesus is returning    Remember what we read 3 days ago in ch. 13 how some “will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And then he will send out the angels and gather his elect…”[v.27] How “alarmed” will we be!? The world will surely be filled with trembling and astonishment!?

Our reaction will surely confirm, to our Lord’s all seeing eyes whether or not we really believe!  A final thought comes from what we read last week in Mark ch. 8 – how Peter reacted negatively to the prediction of Jesus of what is going to happen, how he would “be killed, and after three days rise again.”

Jesus told him he was “not setting (his) mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” [v.33]. What are we “setting” our minds upon?  Let us set them on the reality of our Lord’s return – and then “trembling and astonishment” will not seize us!

Remember what Jesus said to his disciples, (John 16 v.22) “I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.” May that be wonderfully true – in our own experience – and soon!

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