Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us the perseverance, the persistence, the strength, and the determination to complete this journey of faith. Help us to learn, grow, understand, and fully appreciate the events of the resurrection.
Mark 16:1-19, Easter, the Grand Finale.
VV 1-3, 1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. 2Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”
Easter was the most important event of the gospel. Jesus conquered death on Easter. He died, was buried on Good Friday, but resurrected to life on Easter. The women at the cross came to the tomb early bringing spices to anoint His body because they expected to see a corpse and not a Risen Christ. When the sun had risen, the Son had risen.
VV 4-8, ” 4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. 6’’ Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 Butgo, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”8Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone because they were afraid’’.
When they saw the stone rolled away, they entered the tomb. An angel said, ‘’He has risen, He is not here’’. In Greek, He has risen, is, ‘’anesti’’. When they saw the empty tomb, they trembled, shaken, amazed, and afraid.
[The earliest manuscripts and some other ancient witnesses do not have verses 9–20].
VV 9-11, ‘” 9When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. 11When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it.’’
The disciples did not believe Mary Magdalene because she was a woman. In first-century Israel, a woman’s testimony was not valid and was not even admissible as evidence in court.
VV 12-13, ‘ ’ 12 Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. 13 These returned and reported it to the rest, but they did not believe them either’’.
Jesus appeared in a different form to the 2 disciples on the Emmaus road, Luke 24:13-33. When these 2 went back to Jerusalem and reported their encounter with the Risen Christ to the disciples but they also did not believe them.
V 14 ‘’Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen’’.
Jesus appeared to the disciples in the upper room while they were eating. He rebuked them for their hardness of heart. They refused to believe the testimonies of those who had seen Him.
VV 15-18, 15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name, they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
The Risen Christ commanded the disciples to preach the gospel to all creation. This is the Great Commission. Mark 16:18 was not a universal command. In Acts 28:3-5, Paul was bitten by a snake and did not die. The promise of Mark 16: 18, was only a specific promise to the 12 apostles and Paul, but not to the Christians today.
VV 19-20, ‘’19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it’’.
Jesus ascended to heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. Jesus is praying and interceding for us continuously before the Father. Romans 8:34, ‘’Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died, more than that, who was raised to life, is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us’’. The disciples preached the gospel everywhere, the Lord worked with them, confirming His word with signs.
Heavenly Father, thank You for this exciting journey of faith through the gospel of Mark. May our lives be enriched and our faith strengthened as we continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, in His name, Amen.