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.
Mark’s gospel began with an incomplete sentence, “The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”
It was his way of saying, “All that I’m going to tell you about Jesus is only the start. His earthly ministry was but the launch. The story of Jesus will actually go on forever.”
The close of Mark’s gospel is almost as abrupt as its beginning. He briefly recounts Jesus’ resurrection appearances to Mary Magdalene, two disciples walking in the country, and to the Eleven. Then, Mark is “over and out” with a brief conclusion.
The last two verses tell us that Jesus’ story continues in two ways.
First, the story of Jesus continues in the heavens. He is now seated at the right hand of God. This is what Jesus had promised. In His dialogue with the opposing teachers of the Law, He quoted Psalm 110:1, “The Lord said to my lord, ‘Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.’” Jesus then asked how David could call his son his Lord? They didn’t know the answer; but Jesus did. As David’s son, He is human; as David’s Lord, He is divine (Mark 12:35–37).
Jesus flatly declared to the high priest at His trial, “You will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven” (Mark 14:62).
From the first disciples until now, Christians know that Jesus isn’t finished. His story continues. We know where He is now—seated at the right hand of the Majesty on High (Acts 2:25, 33, 34; 5:31; 7:56; Ephesians 1:20; Hebrews 1:3, 13; 8:1; 10:12; 12:2; 1 Peter 3:22).
The one exception to Him being seated was when Stephen, as he was dying from being stoned, saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God (Acts 7:56). How gracious of Jesus to stand when the first believer to die after His own resurrection entered heaven!
From the apostle Paul we learn what Jesus is doing while seated at the right hand of God. He is interceding for us. Rather than bringing a charge against us or condemning us, He is our advocate in the most important position in heaven or on earth. We have a Friend in heaven who believes in us (Romans 8:33–34)!
Second, the story of Jesus continues on earth through us.When the disciples first began following Jesus, they really didn’t know who He was—except that He attracted them to Himself. He walked and talked with them. They heard His words and witnessed His deeds. They saw the strength of His character, His insight into life, His humor, His courage in the face of death, His certainty of the ultimate triumph of good. They couldn’t keep the good news to themselves so they went everywhere, backed by His power working with them.
In our time, we must do the same. Jesus’ story is too important to keep to ourselves. If we will go everywhere we can to everyone we can, then Jesus will continue working with us. Jesus is alive! That is the enduring good news of the gospel!
A Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for all You did so that I could have forgiveness of sins and eternal life. Amen.
Excerpted from Dr. Wood’s book, Fearless: How Jesus Changes Everything, available from Vital Resources.