The last couple of weeks we have explored the way in which Mark has taught us that the Cross is the full manifestation of Jesus’ glory as King. On the Cross Jesus manifested His glory as King by giving His life for the benefit of His people. Repudiating the temptation offered Him once again – ironically by his enemies as they cried out “Save yourself! Come down from the Cross!” – Jesus humbled Himself unto death, the shameful death on the Cross in order that He might give Himself an offering unto God in our place, that He might absorb the wrath and judgment of God which was due to His people, due to us, for our sin. Jesus drank the cup of God’s wrath, was baptized on behalf of His people on the Cross, that we might partake of the cup of blessing.

But here’s the point that we need to grasp today: the Cross is only glorious because of the resurrection. If there had been no resurrection, then the Cross would have been just one more tragedy in human history. After all, many people have died unjustly throughout the history of the world. Jesus is not alone in that respect. But Jesus’ death is not just one more tragic tale among many – it is a tale that ends in glory because of the resurrection. If Jesus did not rise from the dead then our faith is in vain; we are still in our sins. Jesus’ death means no more than that of some other non-violent protester of injustice and tyranny. But thanks be to God, Jesus is risen from the dead. Today we see the way that Mark reveals to us the historicity of Jesus’ resurrection.