Studies in the Gospel of Mark- Chapter 16
I. His is Risen; He is Not Here
A. When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back–it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.” And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid. (Mar 16:1-8)
B. The first 8 verses in the Gospel of Mark are in every record of the Gospel of Mark. The last 12 verses are not found in the oldest manuscripts, but have appeared in all of the documents that have relied on the Textus Receptus, and in the Latin Bible translated by Jerome. There’s ample proof alone from these writings that the ending of Mark was indeed in place in the original manuscripts. One good example is where Irenaeus of Lyons, who knew the apostle John personally, around 100AD wrote, “But Mark in the end of his gospel says, ‘And the Lord Jesus, after that He had spoken to them, was received up into heaven, and sat at the right hand of God.'” . www.greatbiblestudy.com
C. Here again we see Mary(s) involved in Jesus’ most important events of His earthly life. Mary was the open vessel into which the Seed of God was placed until full maturity and then He came forth from her womb, and here we see Jesus coming forth in a glorified body from the tomb and Mary(s) were there to witness His resurrection.
D. That they might come and anoint him; with those sweet spices, as was the manner of the Jews: hence we read (e) of, הבשמים של מתים, “the spices of the dead”; which were used to expel an ungrateful savour: this they did, out of affection to Christ, but seemed to have no faith in his resurrection, though he had told them of it, which they had forgot. The Vulgate Latin reads, “that they might anoint Jesus”; the Ethiopic version, “anoint his body”: but the Arabic thus, “anoint the sepulchre”; his body being anointed before, and wound up by Joseph and Nicodemus; and therefore they came to strew the sepulchre with spices and ointments, and give it a sweet perfume. Though it seems most likely, that they came to anoint his body; for this was one of the things which was customary in Israel to do to dead men, as Maimonides (f) observes, סכין אותו במני בשמים, “they anoint him with various sorts of spices”.
(d) Jechus Haabot, p. 24. Ed. Hottinger. (e) Misn. Betacot, c. 8. sect. 6. & Barrenors in ib. T. Hieros. Beracot, fol. 12. 2. (f) Hiichot Ebel, c. 4. sect. 1.
E. In other Gospels, we know that Mary did not just see an angel, but the Lord himself. Even though it records here that they fled from the tomb with “trembling and astonishment” and “they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid”…we know that they or Mary Magdalene at least did return to tell the disciples all she saw. In addition, the rest of the chapter reiterates the fact that, the Lord Jesus upon commissioning the disciples, tell the world with Holy Spirit boldness the Good News of Jesus Christ, and the Spirit working with them confirms the Word with signs following.
II. Go and Proclaim
A. [[Now when he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. She went and told those who had been with him, as they mourned and wept. But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it. After these things he appeared in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country. And they went back and told the rest, but they did not believe them. Afterward he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at table, and he rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen. And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.” 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 preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by accompanying signs.]] (Mark 16:9-20)
B. Having an academic or first-hand account of a story doesn’t necessarily actuate faith in the hearts of the listener. On two accounts the disciples still did not believe that the Lord Jesus was resurrected from the dead. On the third occasion He appeared to them and rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart. These were Jesus disciples, and yet they battled unbelief and hardness of heart. Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. (Hebrew 3:12)
C. Jesus then commissions them to “Go into the All of the World and proclaim the Gospel to the whole creation.” Even in Jesus’ commission the World (Jew and Gentile) was the focus of Gospel preaching and ministry.
D. “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” This is no excuse for not being baptized but justification is not achieved by human activity or ritual but by faith in the Finished work of Jesus on Calvary and then as an act of obedience and for the remission of sin baptism should take place.
E. Believers manifest evidence of their faith. We have a risen Lord who is seated far above all principality and powers in heaven and earth and He has given us power to tread on serpents and scorpions and over all the authority of the enemy. In addition, He has given to us the indwelling Holy Spirit to lead, guide, and empower us to witness to Him. It is time for us in this hour to Preach, Proclaim, and Manifest the Gospel of Jesus!