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2007 Easter Conference Lecture 2

PREACH THE GOOD NEWS TO ALL CREATION


Mark 16:1-20
Key Verse 16:15
He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.
Through the last message we learned why the Friday on which Jesus died is called the
Good Friday. It is because God did something really good—He saved us from our sin and
guilt and God’s eternal judgment through Jesus’ redemptive death on the cross. However, at
Jesus’ death, the future of the disciples and the soul saving ministry looked dark and
hopeless.
But today’s passage tells us that Jesus’ death was another new beginning for the
disciples and the soul saving ministry. Jesus rose again from death to open a new way of life
for all men. What is more, the Risen Jesus changed his fearful disciples to be the messengers
of the good news for all the world and all creation. We call this good news the gospel of
salvation and judgment. May God grant us this gospel and make us his gospel workers.
I. He has risen (1-8)
Look at verses 1. “When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of
James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus' body. After Jesus
death on the cross, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus hurriedly buried him in a tomb
because the Sabbath restrictions, soon to start at the sunset. There were many women from
Galilee who had followed Jesus till Jerusalem and took care of Jesus’ needs. Mary
Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome were among them. Even though the
disciples fled away at the time of Jesus’ sufferings, these women remained at the foot of the
cross. They were also present when Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus buried Jesus in the
tomb. Each of these women had received Jesus’ love. He was their loving shepherd. They
were so happy to take care of the good Jesus who did not have time for himself as he served
many needy people. In Jesus they had dreamed for a society free from demons and diseases
and full of peace and love and truth. But suddenly at Jesus’ death on the cross, once again the
world looked up side down. They only cried and wept saying, “Why should the good Jesus
die in this way?” They waited for the Sabbath to be over so that they could buy some spices
to anoint Jesus’ body.
Why did they want to anoint Jesus’ body? In fact Jesus had already been anointed
with about 35 kilograms of spices by Nicodemus. But these women did not think that it was
enough. They wanted to anoint Jesus through their own spices as one last thing they could do
for him. Perhaps they abandoned their festival-shopping and decided to spend all their money
for anointing Jesus’ body. And early on the Sunday morning, by the sunrise, they were
already on their way to tomb (2). These women present an example of unchanging loyalty
and selfless love for Jesus.
What was their worry on the way to the tomb? Look at verse 3. “…and they asked
each other, ‘Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?’” Some of them
knew how huge the stone at the entrance was. Even if all of them pushed to remove the stone
they would not be able to roll it away. And they wondered who would roll the stone.
Then what did they see as they looked up? Look at verses 4. “But when they looked
up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. They might have
again worried, “Oh my God! Who did that? Is everything alright in the tomb?” And they ran
into the tomb and started searching for the dead body. What did they find there? Look at
verse 5. “As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on
the right side, and they were alarmed.” How will you react when you enter a house and
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switch on the lights only to find that some one is already sitting there! Alarmed! It was same
with the women. Certainly they had not expected to meet any living person inside the tomb.
Only what they had expected was the dead body of Jesus. Then who was this young man
inside the tomb? What was he doing there? Other gospel writers tell that he was an angel. The
angel had come down to give the message of Jesus’ resurrection to his loved ones. The angel
rolled back the entrance tomb and was waiting for the women to give them the message.
Then what was the angel’s message? Let us read verse 6. “‘Don't be alarmed,’ he said.
‘You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See
the place where they laid him.’” The angel comforted the women from the unexpected fear
and anxiety. The angel also recognized their love for Jesus. But in their ignorance they were
ruled by the power of death and looking for the dead Jesus. So he said to them, “He has risen!
He is not here. See the place where the laid him.”
What does ‘He has risen’ mean? It means that Jesus was resurrected or Jesus became
alive again. Wow! This is a unique historical event. Every human being no matter how good
and noble one had been, died and remained buried under the tomb. No one became alive after
the death. But for the first time Jesus became alive from the dead to live again. The author
Mark shows the empty tomb as the evidence of Jesus’ resurrection. Then what meaning does
the resurrection of Jesus give us?
First, it gives the assurance of forgiveness of our sins. In the beginning Adam was
created by God to live eternally. There was no death in the paradise. But Adam lost the
paradise after committing sin. Death entered human life as a result of sin. Romans 6:23a says,
“For the wages of sin is death…” And the power of death ruled all mankind, because all are
sinners. But soon after Adam’s fall in Genesis 3:15, God promised to send the Messiah Jesus
among the offspring of woman. And finally God sent Jesus as the Messiah. Jesus died on the
cross to solve our sin and death problems and rose again after three days from his death.
Through his resurrection, Jesus solved our fundamental sin and death problems. Therefore,
Jesus' resurrection gives us the assurance of forgiveness of our sins.
Second, it gives us ultimate victory. Not only death, in this world sorrow, fatalism,
sickness and failures all make us so powerless and helpless. When sorrow and fatalisms rule
our lives, we become like dead people even though we are physically alive. It is because we
think our weaknesses and short-comings are too much to be overcome. But we do not need to
fear our failures and limitations anymore. Jesus who rose again from dead is the victorious
Lord. He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. He has no limitations and he helps us
overcome our own limitation with his almighty power, when we have the resurrection faith.
In the Risen Jesus, we can overcome the fear of study, fear of survival, fear future security,
fear of rejection from people when we have the resurrection faith and get the ultimate victory.
Third, Jesus’ resurrection gives us living hope for heavenly kingdom. Through his
resurrection, Jesus opened the new living way to God. Just as Jesus was resurrected to live
eternally, all men will rise again from their tomb to live with eternal life. We should live in
this world for an appointed time and die someday. But we are not to remain in our tomb
forever. We will rise again with new immortal body to live for ever in the heavenly kingdom.
Thus, those who have resurrection faith can have a glorious living hope. They do not bother
the ups and downs of this world. They live to serve God’s will in their holy pilgrimage
toward the heavenly kingdom. May God grant this resurrection faith!
Then what mission did the angel give the women? Look at verse 7. “But go, tell his
disciples and Peter, `He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he
told you.'" The women heard the message of resurrection. Now they should go and tell this
message to the disciples, especially Peter. They were to tell him that Jesus was living and that
the Risen Jesus would go ahead of them to meet them in Galilee. Jesus had already foretold
about their post-resurrection meeting at Galilee. He had said to them in Mark 14:28, “…after
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I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” The disciples had run away leaving Jesus
alone at the moment of his trials and sufferings. Especially Peter denied Jesus three times.
But the Risen Jesus did not reject them. The Risen Jesus sent his gracious invitation through
the women for forgiveness, reconciliation and restoration. But at the moment the women
went out and fled from the tomb trembling and bewildered, and said nothing to anyone,
because they were afraid (8).

II. The world mission command (9-20)


Look at verse 9. “When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first
to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons.” Mary Magdalene reminds us
of how she was once possessed by seven demons. Perhaps she broke many young men’s heart
when she was possessed by the seven demons. But one day Jesus had mercy on her and freed
her from the demons. Since then, she decided to give her heart and life to Jesus. According to
Matthew’s gospel while the women were returning from the tomb, the Risen Jesus met them
to make them strong witnesses of his resurrection. Mark records here only the name of Mary
Magdalene. She then went and told those who had been with him and who were weeping and
mourning. But when they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not
believe it (10-11). Perhaps they said to Mary Magdalene, “Are you possessed by a demon
again?” And the rebuked her saying, “If at all Jesus would appear to anyone, wouldn’t he
appear to his chosen disciples?” Their pride and unbelief rejected the message of resurrection
only to remain in their unbelief. But Jesus did not give up because of their refusal to believe.
Look at verse 12-14. “Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them
while they were walking in the country. These returned and reported it to the rest; but they
did not believe them either. Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he
rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen
him after he had risen.” During his common life with the disciples, Jesus had repeatedly told
them about his upcoming suffering, death and resurrection. When things happened as Jesus
had told them and when they heard the testimony of Jesus’ resurrection they should have
believe it. But they were indeed full of unbelief and stubbornness. So Jesus appeared to them
and strongly rebuked to help them believe.
At that time what did the Risen Jesus command his disciples? Let us read verse 15.
“He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.’” The
fearful disciples were not ready even to come out of their tightly locked room. But to them
Jesus said, ‘Go into the all the world and preach the good news to all creation.’ This is Jesus’
world mission command to his disciples. Jesus rebuked his disciples to plant the resurrection
faith. But soon after planting the resurrection faith Jesus gave them the world mission
command. It is because without resurrection faith world mission is impossible to be carried
out. The good news is the gospel of Jesus’ death and resurrection that gives forgiveness of sin
and a living hope to those who believe. Jesus gave the world mission command as a
command, not as an advice. So the disciples must carry out the world mission command.
Then why did Jesus give this world mission command to his spiritually young disciples?
Firstly, it was because the gospel is the only way for all creations to be saved. The
word ‘all the world’ and ‘all creation’ reveals Jesus’ shepherd heart for the whole world. Jesus
wants that every creature, i.e. every human being be told about the salvation he gives through
his death on the cross and resurrection. It is because Jesus is the only mediator between God
and men. God did not give any other way to reach the heavenly kingdom except through
Jesus. Therefore every human being regardless of his nationality, culture, language and
religion must hear the gospel and receive the salvation. It was not an easy task for the
disciples and it is still not an easy task. But the Risen Jesus who has a shepherd heart for all
the world and all creation is willing to send even the spiritually young disciples. This
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shepherd heart of Jesus brought the gospel to our life, and he wants to give his salvation even
to all of us here.
Secondly, it was the Risen Jesus’ faith and vision for his disciple to be gospel
workers for the whole world. Jesus' disciples were spiritually still very young. But Jesus
saw them through faith as history makers. Jesus believed that each one of them would grow
in resurrection faith and carry out world mission as apostles in the near future. And based on
Jesus’ faith the disciples became the pillars of gospel ministry for the whole world. How do
you see yourself? When we see ourselves through the faith of the Risen Jesus, each one of us
can find great hope for our life to be preciously used by the Risen Lord as his servants. A
study shows that the ratio of gospel workers in India is 1:2,00,000. Another study says that
around 90% of the people who have never heard the gospel even once in their life live in the
Asian region. What shall we do before such a huge task? Off course, we must be ready to go
anywhere if God wants to send us. But what is most important in this command is the gospel
must go from us to others. The gospel should not remain with us only. Wherever we may be,
when we see through Jesus’ eyes every single person is an object of gospel preaching and
needs to be saved. If one thinks he knows the gospel and does not feel the urgency to preach
whoever he meets, there is something greatly wrong. At the moment God has given us JNU,
DU, IIT, SAC as our mission fields. And there are so many campus students in these
campuses who have not heard the gospel even once. Jesus says to us, “Go. Go to these
campuses and preach the gospel.” If we think one step further, saving one soul and raising
him or her as a disciple is God’s way to bless one campus, one state or even one nation. We
often forget how God had mercy on me and saved me through the gospel, so we also lose the
urgency to save others through gospel preaching. Sometimes after tasting a little success in
disciple making we think that ‘I have done enough.’ And at other times we are so selfishly
busy with my study, my job, my future, my family and my children that we hardly have any
time and room for others. But Jesus who has a broken shepherd heart for every man in this
world rebukes us as he rebuked his disciples and gives us his world mission command, “Go
into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” May God renew a broken
shepherd heart and help us to sacrifice many things in this world for the gospel with a living
hope.
Look at verse 16. “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does
not believe will be condemned.” This verse tells about the absoluteness of the gospel. To
believe or not is an important task. To believe in Jesus is salvation but not to believe in Jesus
is condemnation and judgment. So gospel preaching is the most urgent and important task
which a man must carry out as of first priority.
The Risen Jesus also promised to give the power necessary for his disciples to be
gospel workers and protect them in this hostile world. Look at verses 17-18. “And these signs
will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak
in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly
poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will
get well.” When we obey Jesus’ command to evangelize the world, Jesus promises to be with
us and grow us as his servants. He promises to give us spiritual power to drive out the
demons of lust, laziness, fatalism and hedonism from our campuses. He promises to give
healing to those we pray and serve as their shepherds and bible teachers.
Look at verse 19-20. “After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into
heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached
everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that
accompanied it.” After Jesus’ ascension to heaven, the disciples were changed into powerful
witnesses of the resurrection. They went out and preached everywhere, and were able to win
many a souls. But basically it was the Risen Lord who worked with them and gave them
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success through his power. I heard that from the beginning of UBF ministry, Dr Samuel Lee
gave the prayer topic for world mission. Initially some of them inwardly laughed as there
seemed to be no way. But mostly they knelt and prayed and asked for God’s guidance for
world mission. Then God opened the way for sending out many shepherds to different parts
of the world, and now more than 87 countries of the world could be pioneered. We are still
praying that God may send Bible teachers to China, North Korea and the Moslem countries.
It is possible only when we have resurrection faith because the Risen Jesus himself is
working for the world mission.
Until I met the Risen Jesus, I lived only for myself. My hope was to become a
software programmer with handsome salary, marry a beautiful wife and settle in the US. I
looked like a promising young man doing what I ought to do in this world such as study well,
prepare for my future, obey my parents, go to the temple once in a while etc. But as my hope
was only in this world, I wanted to enjoy every kind of sensual pleasures before I die and
vanish from this world. As a result I lived with guilty conscience and feared God’s judgment.
When God’s truth spoke to me through the Bible I was convicted of my sin and found God’s
forgiveness through Jesus’ redemptive death on the cross. Yet I was still very weak to live by
faith. But the Risen Jesus spoke to me through his words and gave me spiritual strength to
overcome many obstacles with a living hope. When I had this living hope, I could be used as
a witness of the Risen Jesus and many campus students could hear the gospel through me.
Some of them also became disciples and coworkers for the campus ministry. The Risen Lord
also blessed my personal life through JNU M. Tech admission and UGC Scholarship, and
later also miraculously gave me an assistant professor job at LBSIM. He also blessed me to
establish a blessed house church with the most beautiful woman of God Shps Sarah Nial and
gave handsome Isaac to our family. In the last few years, after God blessed my life and gave
me many blessings I became proud and complacent. I lost the shepherd’s heart and sense of
urgency for the gospel. Recently when God had mercy on me, I could restore my basic
Christian life and started to visit sheep to preach the gospel. But while preparing this message
I found that my heart and mind are still very far from Jesus’ shepherd heart for the campus
students. I seriously lacked a sense of urgency and priority for gospel preaching. It is because
gradually my faith has died down in my sinful and selfish life. But I could hear the Risen
Jesus’ rebuke to renew a living faith, and his world mission command, “Go into all the world
and preach the good news to all creation.” I thank the Risen Lord for his unchanging hope
and love for me to be a gospel worker. I pray to see every student of JNU through Jesus eyes
so that I may have a broken shepherd heart to preach the gospel and save their souls. I also
pray to obey Jesus’ world mission command through diligently going to the campus and
spending time with the students in Bible study so that many perishing souls may have the
chance to get salvation and many gospel workers may be raised.
In conclusion Jesus has risen and he is alive. The Risen Jesus has a broken shepherd
heart and wants all peoples of all nations to hear the gospel and be saved. The Risen Jesus has
faith and vision to mold us and make us history makers when we obey his world mission
command by resurrection faith and preach the gospel in this world with a living hope. May
God helps us to go and preach the gospels to every student in JNU, SAC, IIT, and DU South
campuses and raise many disciples from these campuses who can go out as gospel workers to
the 320 university campuses of India and neighboring countries.
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2007 Easter Conference Lecture 2

PREACH THE GOOD NEWS TO ALL CREATION


Mark 16:1-20
Key Verse 16:15 He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news
to all creation

1. Who were the women who brought spices to the tomb (1,2; 15:40,41,47)? What reveals
their love for Jesus? What was on their minds as they walked along (3)? What amazed and
alarmed the women (4,5)?

2. What good news did the angel tell them (6)? In what respect is this news the key point of
the Bible (Jn 1:29; Ac 2:23-28)? What mission did the angel give the women (7)? What
promise had they forgotten (8; Mk 14:28)?

3. Who brought the good news to the disciples (9,10)? How did they respond (11)? Why?
According to Jesus, why didn’t they believe (12-14)? What was their fixed idea?

4. What command did Jesus give the doubting disciples (15)? What can we learn here about
Jesus’ faith? Who are the objects that must hear the good news? How is the absoluteness
of the gospel (16)? What is the only way of salvation (Jn 3:16)?

5. What power and protection did Jesus promise gospel workers (17,18)? How did Jesus
continue to help them (19,20)?