Easter’s Unanswered Question

Leadership is broken because leaders are unbroken

Sunday morning dawn. In many ways the first dawn. Three grieving women on their way to a rich man’s tomb, though a poor man lay in it. They came to pay their final respects on the first Easter Sunday to that poor man, but a huge stone lay at the mouth of the tomb placed there by Roman soldiers. Who would move it for them? Yet it was already moved when they arrived. A young man dressed in white told them Jesus wasn’t there. But where was He? They didn’t get it. Do you?

Oh, you get the part where Jesus is raised from the dead. That’s clear enough and comforting too. Death is defeated. You will live, and those who have died are eternally alive already. What could be greater? Actually a lot if we get it.

Mark tells us about this event in a most succinct way, but behind his sparse words there lays a demanding question. This question is brought on by another question Mark was writing to answer.

He lived in troubled times, the season of the first Roman persecution Christians ever faced, when the fire breathing fiddler, Nero, introduced an urban reclamation project by setting a part of ancient Rome aflame. But it all got out of control and destroyed scores of the wooden buildings that made up his city, taking thousands of lives with the winds that fanned the fires he could not stop. Not even a Roman emperor could destroy such a large number of his populace with impunity, so he had to fault someone, and he blamed the Christians who were then arrested and brutally blamed for what the ruler had done. Burned alive, fed to the lions, crucified, beheaded—they were put to death in countless brutal ways.

Stunned, confused, unprepared for such atrocities, they turned to the only leader left. Paul was beheaded, Peter crucified, yet Mark still lived, and they asked him their burning question: who is this Jesus that we must die for Him? Mark wrote his Gospel to answer them: Jesus is the Christ, the Anointed One, who died for you and rose again. But implicit in his answer was a question he asked them, the same question he has for us today.

When those three women entered that empty Easter grave, they represented us and took us there with them to face Mark’s question. That question was real for them and equally real for us: will you do for Him what He did for you? Will you die for Him and trust Him to raise you from the dead even as He trusted His Father to raise Him? Will you take everything that matters to you and entrust it to Him so Easter means as much for you in life as it does in death? This question endures long after Easter is over. This question endures as long as life lasts. So what is your answer? Will you die to your expectations and your dreams and your security and your control by trusting Him to take the death you face in a thousand daily ways and raise it in life? That’s the unanswered question Easter raises. Well, will you?

From "Easter's Unanswered Question" on Broken Leadership Blog is about changing the leadership conversation from what we are doing with our hands to what God is doing through our hearts.


Bill Lawrence is the President of Leader Formation International, Senior Professor Emeritus of Pastoral Ministries and Adjunct Professor of DMin Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary where he served full-time for twenty-four years (1981-2005). During this time he also was the Executive Director of the Center for Christian Leadership for twelve years.