“The Beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God” came to an end. The cliff hanger ending first penned by the writer of Mark was edited and modified. Instead of the women running from the tomb terrified and amazed telling no one, the editors have offered several alternatives. The women told the disciples and the gospel spread. Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene and then Jesus appeared to two disciples. Finally Jesus appeared to all of the disciples and sent them out to proclaim the good news. In the last scene, Jesus ascended into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God—a position of honor and authority.
The disciples were true to their calling. They proclaimed the good news everywhere and to everyone. That proclamation has carried on in all of the succeeding chapters of “The Beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God.” We have been gathered into the part of God’s family called “the Church.” Forgiven, given a new life, adopted as God’s children and filled with the Holy Spirit, we carry on the ministry of Jesus. In the light of the resurrection we heal the sick, cast out unclean spirits, reach out to the marginalized, stand against hypocrisy and injustice and seek to bring peace into the world. The ministry of Jesus is challenging, but God is with us and our mission cannot fail.
So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and proclaimed the good news everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that accompanied it.