At the English Easter service held in Shanghai Community Fellowship, Dale Cuckow, the senior pastor, delivered a message of "Upset with A Resurrection" on April 21, 2019.
The sermon, one of the 4-week series about the Gospel of Mark, explained the meaning of the empty tomb and resurrection.
Dale Cuckow began with the presence of evilness. Evil existed in the world and the same element of evil was in every one of us. God knew that and planned to get us out of evil. Similar to saving a patient's life, God sent a human being, Jesus Christ, full man and full God and sinless, gave his perfect life to treat for our sinful life. What Jesus had done empowered each one of us to believe his life with his goodness to replace our evilness.
Mark 16:1-8 recorded that on the first day of the week, three women thought the body was in the tomb and found out the heavy stone had been rolled away. God sent an angel to explain why the tomb was empty. The angel answered that they didn't get lost and this was indeed Jesus' tomb and said that he had resurrected.
However, what the women did was run away and didn't tell anybody. They had four fears. In the light of Jesus, they were afraid of his holiness. It was like we saw the impurity of the air under the light. When God was working through our life, we often told God to go away from us. The holy and sinless God also had compassion. He was the same one who asked the blind man, "what can I do for you" and who touched the man with leprosy.
In the presence of God, we also felt inadequate. Cuckow shared that he often met people who were not sure of getting baptized. Those kind of people regarded themselves as not good enough and tried working on getting better. Moreover, there would be overwhelming inadequacy after their baptism. The women also felt inadequate and stayed silent as a response to what happened to them.
On the day of Jesus' crucifixion, everyone close to him abandoned him. His disciples denied him and feared rejection after his resurrection. So was the same with the women.
The women also had the fear that what seemed impossible was now possible. In the Old Testament, God promised that Sarah would get pregnant in her nineties and Abraham remembered this promise. Sarah lied that she didn't laugh and the Bible said that she was afraid.
Now the resurrection day was when faith came and prepared for a new beginning. The women finally overcame the silence and fear and would believe in Jesus and follow him. A new beginning came to be on this day.