Day 19

Risen and Ascended

from the Mark reading plan

Mark 16:1-20, Acts 1:6-11, Isaiah 53:4-6

BY Amanda Bible Williams

Text: Mark 16:1-20, Acts 1:6-11, Isaiah 53:4-6

We’ve called Mark “the Gospel of Jesus on His feet,” and now we’ve seen it to be true.

Through fifteen chapters, we have watched as Jesus went about Galilee preaching the good news and healing the sick, feeding the hungry and teaching His disciples what it means to believe. We saw Him stand on His feet before the chief priests and their accusations, with only silence and truth as His defense. We saw Him climb a mountain and walk on water.

But then, the Gospel of Jesus on His feet came to an abrupt halt. The Messiah was led to a cross and crucified. One day. Two days. Three days in the ground, and then He was up again. The stone was rolled away, and a man shimmering in white stood to greet the women in the tomb. There was no body for them to anoint; He was gone. Jesus had been raised from the dead.

And that’s how the Gospel of Jesus on His feet resumes, right here in Mark 16. Only now, everything has changed.

Here, at the very end of Mark’s Gospel, there is a crucial shift: Jesus had completed the work He came to earth to do. He had healed and taught and traveled and forgiven and died and risen. And then, He commissioned.

Jesus implored and empowered His disciples to continue the ministry He began—the same disciples who, even upon hearing eyewitness testimony of Jesus’ resurrection, still didn’t believe until they saw Him for themselves. He called them to preach the gospel. Now, you go, He said to them. You heal. You teach. You spread the message of the forgiveness of sins. Get on your feet and go.  

Jesus called His disciples to stand up and step out, and then He did something stunning: He sat down.

“Then after speaking to them, the Lord Jesus was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.”
– Mark 16:19

Still today, Jesus sits at the right hand of His Father. He sits because the saving work He came to do here on earth has been done. He declared as much from the cross when He cried out, “It is finished” (John 19:30). The act of salvation is sealed and cannot be undone. Now, with the assurance that our Lord lives and reigns, we get to respond to His call: Get on your feet, and go.

The disciples were not alone as they went. Jesus had promised to go with them (John 14:26), and He did.

“And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them…”
– Mark 16:20

Friends, the Gospel of Mark is not just the “Pedestrian Gospel” because of the action of the fast-paced narrative. The Gospel of Mark is the Pedestrian Gospel because it is the plainly presented message of the gospel of Jesus Christ—the forgiveness of sins accomplished in full by His life, death, and resurrection. It is the Gospel for all of us. For her and him, for you and me.  

We’ve not just heard about Him. We’ve seen Him. By His power and grace, let’s get up and carry His good news to the world.


Post Comments (65)

65 thoughts on "Risen and Ascended"

  1. Churchmouse says:

    As a Jesus follower, I am commissioned to stand up and step out until Jesus Himself stands up to return. Yes, Lord, here I am. Send me. I serve at the pleasure of my Lord and King.

  2. We got to spread the good news!! Love it!

  3. Alexis says:

    Hi ladies,
    I’ve often wondered about my voice and my ability to share the gospel with others. Sometimes I just feel ill equipped. But, God calls us to go, despite our weakness, our perceived inadequacies. I often wonder if it is pride, or fear of rejection that keeps me from sharing the gospel with others. I often feel that if I am unsuccessful with my evangelism attempt, that I am responsible for their salvation. That belief is wrong and I have to trust that my talking to them about our Lord has planted a seed. They may not accept Christ at that moment, but later on in their life. Trees don’t become majestic in an instant, seeds must be planted first. May I, all of us remember that seeds are important, no matter how small.

    I do have a prayer request. I find out today whether or not there is cancer in my lymph nodes. Praying for peace no matter the outcome.

    1. Sally says:


    2. Karen says:

      I’m praying that no matter what the outcome, you will be reminded that God loves you. Thank you for sharing.

    3. Courtnie says:

      Praying Alexis! Thanks for your words.

      1. Susan says:

        Prayers for you.

    4. Jan mitch says:

      Praying for healing in the name of Jesus

    5. Churchmouse says:

      Praying along with all the others for healing for you. He is with you!

    6. Madison says:

      Alexis, I am praying. Jesus goes before you in all things. May He bring you comfort and peace and fill you in His prescence.

    7. Tina says:

      Praying for you Alexis..God be with you…xxx

    8. Emily says:

      Praying right now!

    9. Cari says:

      Praying for you! Have you gotten the results?

      1. Alexis says:

        Thank you all for your prayers! No results yet, but praying for peace whatever the results are.

  4. Jennifer (jenna) HOFF says:

    Not sure if anyone remembers me or my comment from a few weeks ago, but I just wanted to share my story.

    A few weeks ago there was a Shereadstruth devotion where the message was about trusting God with the plans for our lives. I really wrestled with that, and left a comment asking about what that meant. Did it mean sitting at home and waiting for God to bring my a new job if I never applied, accept me into a new school program if I never sent in acceptance papers etc? Several kind women took the time to answer my comment and give wise advice including that it didn’t mean we never take sets forward in our lives, but that we trust God and his plan and have faith God is leading us.

    That day I decided to devote part of the day to prayer. I had happy feelings at first, but very quickly it turned into a difficult day. I spent most of the day wrestling with God about trusting His plan for my life. I became angry at God and realized that many years ago when I had trusted him deeply and told him I’d go anywhere he sent me instead 2 days later a very difficult and terrible situation had occured in my life. As a result I’d harboured all these years a mistrust in my spirit that I could really trust God’s intentions and leadership in my life. On a practical level it translated into fear that something bad would happen to my family. Every time my husband would go drive somewhere my mind would flash to “what if he dies in an accident.”

    I felt God wanted to me trust him with his plan for my life, even if something terrible happens again. I felt God wanted me to relinquish control to him, even though I knew and have experienced full well what it could mean, that it might be his plan wasn’t for rosiness or prosperity. I resisted all day then finally by evening my heart came to a place of just saying “ok God… your will be done, your kingdom come… even with the family i so deeply love” Immediately i experienced a deep peace. I began to cherish my family and be thankful for the time God has granted me with them instead of fearing they could be taken away any moment.

    A week later something truly amazing happened. I’ve wanted another child for years but because of health issues (the aformentioned terrible thing that happened years ago) I didn’t think this was ever possible. Suddenly, with one day’s time to make a decision we were asked to welcome our daughter’s older brother into our home. He is 20 but has developmental disabilities and needs care. (We adopted our daughter at age 10 six years ago). It happened exceedingly fast. I’m a planner and I plan… this situation required instead deep faith. Because of the experience a week earlier where I had relinquised the plan to God I was in my deepest heart able to say “Your kingdom come. Your will be done.”

    A day and a half ago we welcome this young man into our family. Ive never felt so right about anything in my life, nor felt such a deep level of God’s peace. I really feel God prepared my heart and spirit for this situation and I feel God in me now as I assume this new role in his life.

    I just want to say thank you to you all for ministering to me and touching my life. I believe God used you in a big way in the life of me and my family.

    1. Hilary says:

      Wow – what a step of faith and a way to demonstrate God’s love to this young man and your daughter as well. God is good!

    2. Krystle says:

      Praise God! Thanks for sharing your testimony with us Jenna!

    3. She Reads Truth says:

      Jennifer, your story is amazing. Thank you so much for giving us the privilege of reading it and journeying with you. Grateful for your obedience and heart.


    4. Lizzieb85 says:

      I’m teary-eyed. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

      1. Deb says:

        Thank you for sharing!!

    5. Susan says:

      Amazing. I am so grateful I got to read your about your experience. Thank you.

    6. Churchmouse says:

      Your testimony is a joy to read, though it was hard for you to live through. Your persistence and crying out and submission to the Lord is evidence of deep roots taking place. I’m sure you will be a tremendous discipler of this young man. Blessings to you for your faithfulness!

    7. Rocio says:

      Thank you so much for sharing!!

    8. SuzD says:

      Thank you and may God continue to bless you and your family.

    9. Tina says:

      What a beautiful story of God and his purpose and plan for our lives.. praying He continues to bless and protect your family..Every blessing..x

    10. Emily says:

      Thank you so much for taking the time to share with us! I can’t wait to hear how God uses you to pour into this young man’s life.

  5. Jennifer W. says:

    I have never considered myself to be a gifted evangelist, even though I was actually a full-time missionary for years. I dreaded the days I was assigned to stand on a street corner and hand out Gospel tracts to strangers who thought we were bizarre and interrupting their commute. Hanging out on a college campus and randomly talking to kids trying to eat their lunch and study came naturally to some of my co-workers, but made me feel like a creep! :D
    I know that my spiritual gifts tend to thrive in the areas of discipleship and teaching women. However, I have always LOVED the opportunity to share Jesus with those who do not yet know Him, in the conversational ways that God has given me throughout my life. My husband and I are not those on-fire evangelists with spiritual laws tracts in our cars, but we do pursue relationships with those who don’t know Christ. We are more the type who look for ways to bring Christ in to real life situations and share how God has worked and given us life, hope and peace. This week, we got to spend some time with a couple from his work that we have been praying for and befriending for two years. Of course, God let spiritual topics come up and my heart was SO refreshed! I think its crucial for us non-evangelists to remember that we all have a God-given commission and equipment to share the Gospel, and when we do, it is the height of happiness!

    1. Jenna Hoff says:

      I know what you mean. Street corner evangelism is neither my style nor my calling. But love according to the great commission is. My family just welcomed a young man with disabilities into our home and loving him day by day in the practical mom things like food and conversation and mentoring and going on a picnic and reminding him to take a shower. ….those practical things are how I feel God has called me to love in his Name.

      1. Jennifer W. says:

        I read your longer post and it is very clear that God is at work in your life in powerful ways! What a ministry of Christ’s love you have!

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