July 15 – The Resurrection

Before we begin today, I want to mention some things that will clarify what you are about to read. Early manuscripts end at verse 8. Many scholars think verses 9 to 20 were added decades later. We’ll take a look at verses 1 to 8, and then I’ll summarize what scholars say about the end verses.

Mark 16

“The Resurrection

Saturday evening, when the Sabbath ended, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome went out and purchased burial spices so they could anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on Sunday morning, just at sunrise, they went to the tomb. On the way they were asking each other, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” But as they arrived, they looked up and saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled aside.

When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a white robe sitting on the right side. The women were shocked, but the angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body. Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died.”

The women fled from the tomb, trembling and bewildered, and they said nothing to anyone because they were too frightened.”

Very early on Sunday morning, three women are on their way to the tomb to place burial spices on Jesus’ body. Jesus had been crucified on Friday, and they were unable to do anything on Saturday because that was the Sabbath. Saturday night (after sundown) they were able to pool their money and purchase the burial spices. As they head to the tomb, they are wondering how they will be able to roll the stone away from the doorway. Those stones were made to rest in a channel at the doorway – easy to roll in, but almost impossible to roll out. So it’s not surprising that they are discussing how they will get access to Jesus’ body. This would not have been an easy task even if they could get access to the tomb, because this was the third day after Jesus’ death. His mangled body from the beatings, torture and crucifixion would have been in a lot of decay, but didn’t stop them from doing what they considered necessary for a person they loved.

Much to their surprise, the stone was already rolled away, and when they entered, they found an angel who looked like a young man clothed in white waiting for them. The Bible says they were shocked. Apparently, that is a strong word in Greek. I want us to stop and think for a moment about this.

The disciples and Jesus’ followers entered Jerusalem the first time before Passover with crowds waving palm branches, throwing clothes on the road as a sign of respect, and praising Jesus. They had been with Jesus for 3 years, and they had seen miracles that had astounded them – walking on water, healing the sick, casting out demons, calming storms, his transfiguration on the Mount of Olives, raising Lazarus from the dead. In exchanges with the Temple leaders, he had always made them very embarrassed. Don’t you think that they thought that nothing could stop Jesus? I know he had told them he was going to be handed over to the Temple leaders and killed, but I suspect they really didn’t take that in completely. You’ve probably had moments where you’ve wondered if you actually heard what was said, and dismissed it as highly unlikely.

What happened that Friday must have devastated the disciples and Jesus’ followers. Watching him tortured, and likely screaming as the soldiers beat and slashed him must have been agonizing. Looking at the broken body on the cross – how appalling! Their world had been shattered and all their dreams and hopes crushed completely.

No wonder the women were shocked when they saw the angel and the empty tomb. Notice how the angel repeatedly tells them that Jesus isn’t there. “You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body.” (v. 6) He told them Jesus wasn’t there. He told them the reason was because Jesus had risen from the dead. He also told them to look at the exact place where the body had been, so they could be sure Jesus wasn’t there. If you were there, you would have needed that repetition too. Was it really true? Nothing like this had ever happened before!

The angel then tells them to go and tell the disciples, and especially Peter. I love that God knows that a man who must be in the depths of depression over his denial of knowing Jesus needed to be reassured that God loved him. That loving, caring nature of God for those of us who fail is so amazing!

Mark ends his gospel at verse 8. This is actually not a ‘happy ending’ account. It’s an abrupt stop. Other gospels give more details. Mark’s gospel tends to be very basic detailed oriented. I’d encourage you to reread Mark in the next week or two. We’ve looked at it for a little over 2 months, but now that you’ve read it in small sections, it would be good to read it right through to get the whole impression that Mark is giving of Jesus. Perhaps Mark ended with the fact that Jesus rose from the dead, the fact that changed history completely. But the resurrection was actually the beginning – the beginning of the new church, the church that would include every person on earth regardless of their nationality or culture.

It’s the beginning of hope for us; Jesus’ resurrection brings us hope that death is not the end for us. We will have life everlasting someday with him. 1 Corinthians 15: 20 – 23 says:

“But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died.

21 So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. 22 Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life. 23 But there is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back.”

But the resurrection also began a time when we will still face difficulty until Jesus’ return. However, we are not alone. Romans 8: 11 says, “The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.” Read that again. The power that raised Jesus from the dead is now available to you. The Holy Spirit dwells within each Christ follower. We know we fail and mess up, but we can also be assured that the Holy Spirit is helping us through all our hard times.

“And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. 28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8: 26 – 28

Jesus’ resurrection brings us hope for today and hope for the future. Amen!!!

Our song today is Christ is Risen by Phil Wickham

Mark 16

“The Resurrection

Saturday evening, when the Sabbath ended, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome went out and purchased burial spices so they could anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on Sunday morning, just at sunrise, they went to the tomb. On the way they were asking each other, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” But as they arrived, they looked up and saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled aside.

When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a white robe sitting on the right side. The women were shocked, but the angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body. Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died.”

The women fled from the tomb, trembling and bewildered, and they said nothing to anyone because they were too frightened.”

Very early on Sunday morning, three women are on their way to the tomb to place burial spices on Jesus’ body. Jesus had been crucified on Friday, and they were unable to do anything on Saturday because that was the Sabbath. Saturday night (after sundown) they were able to pool their money and purchase the burial spices. As they head to the tomb, they are wondering how they will be able to roll the stone away from the doorway. Those stones were made to rest in a channel at the doorway – easy to roll in, but almost impossible to roll out. So it’s not surprising that they are discussing how they will get access to Jesus’ body. This would not have been an easy task even if they could get access to the tomb, because this was the third day after Jesus’ death. His mangled body from the beatings, torture and crucifixion would have been in a lot of decay, but didn’t stop them from doing what they considered necessary for a person they loved.

Much to their surprise, the stone was already rolled away, and when they entered, they found an angel who looked like a young man clothed in white waiting for them. The Bible says they were shocked. Apparently, that is a strong word in Greek. I want us to stop and think for a moment about this.

The disciples and Jesus’ followers entered Jerusalem the first time before Passover with crowds waving palm branches, throwing clothes on the road as a sign of respect, and praising Jesus. They had been with Jesus for 3 years, and they had seen miracles that had astounded them – walking on water, healing the sick, casting out demons, calming storms, his transfiguration on the Mount of Olives, raising Lazarus from the dead. In exchanges with the Temple leaders, he had always made them very embarrassed. Don’t you think that they thought that nothing could stop Jesus? I know he had told them he was going to be handed over to the Temple leaders and killed, but I suspect they really didn’t take that in completely. You’ve probably had moments where you’ve wondered if you actually heard what was said, and dismissed it as highly unlikely.

What happened that Friday must have devastated the disciples and Jesus’ followers. Watching him tortured, and likely screaming as the soldiers beat and slashed him must have been agonizing. Looking at the broken body on the cross – how appalling! Their world had been shattered and all their dreams and hopes crushed completely.

No wonder the women were shocked when they saw the angel and the empty tomb. Notice how the angel repeatedly tells them that Jesus isn’t there. “You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body.” (v. 6) He told them Jesus wasn’t there. He told them the reason was because Jesus had risen from the dead. He also told them to look at the exact place where the body had been, so they could be sure Jesus wasn’t there. If you were there, you would have needed that repetition too. Was it really true? Nothing like this had ever happened before!

The angel then tells them to go and tell the disciples, and especially Peter. I love that God knows that a man who must be in the depths of depression over his denial of knowing Jesus needed to be reassured that God loved him. That loving, caring nature of God for those of us who fail is so amazing!

Mark ends his gospel at verse 8. This is actually not a ‘happy ending’ account. It’s an abrupt stop. Other gospels give more details. Mark’s gospel tends to be very basic detailed oriented. I’d encourage you to reread Mark in the next week or two. We’ve looked at it for a little over 2 months, but now that you’ve read it in small sections, it would be good to read it right through to get the whole impression that Mark is giving of Jesus. Perhaps Mark ended with the fact that Jesus rose from the dead, the fact that changed history completely. But the resurrection was actually the beginning – the beginning of the new church, the church that would include every person on earth regardless of their nationality or culture.

It’s the beginning of hope for us; Jesus’ resurrection brings us hope that death is not the end for us. We will have life everlasting someday with him. 1 Corinthians 15: 20 – 23 says:

“But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died.

21 So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. 22 Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life. 23 But there is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back.”

But the resurrection also began a time when we will still face difficulty until Jesus’ return. However, we are not alone. Romans 8: 11 says, “The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.” Read that again. The power that raised Jesus from the dead is now available to you. The Holy Spirit dwells within each Christ follower. We know we fail and mess up, but we can also be assured that the Holy Spirit is helping us through all our hard times.

“And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. 28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8: 26 – 28

Jesus’ resurrection brings us hope for today and hope for the future. Amen!!!

Our song today is Christ is Risen by Phil Wickham

*****************************************************

Here are the remaining verses that are included in many translations of the Bible. The verses below were taken from the New Living Translation which includes dark italicized introductions.

Scholars today think that sections of the other gospels were added to Mark’s gospel several years after Mark’s gospel was written. Many of the things mentioned in verses 9 to 20 come from the various gospels. I’ll include where they came from as you read these remaining 11 verses.

[The most ancient manuscripts of Mark conclude with verse 16:8. Later manuscripts add one or both of the following endings.]

[Shorter Ending of Mark]

Then they briefly reported all this to Peter and his companions. Afterward Jesus himself sent them out from east to west with the sacred and unfailing message of salvation that gives eternal life. Amen.

[Longer Ending of Mark]

After Jesus rose from the dead early on Sunday morning, the first person who saw him was Mary Magdalene, the woman from whom he had cast out seven demons. 10 She went to the disciples, who were grieving and weeping, and told them what had happened. 11 But when she told them that Jesus was alive and she had seen him, they didn’t believe her.

(These details are also found in John 20: 11 to 18 and in Luke 8: 12 (facts about the demons).)

12 Afterward he appeared in a different form to two of his followers who were walking from Jerusalem into the country. 13 They rushed back to tell the others, but no one believed them.

(The story of the encounter on the road to Emmaus is found in Luke 24: 13 – 35)

14 Still later he appeared to the eleven disciples as they were eating together. He rebuked them for their stubborn unbelief because they refused to believe those who had seen him after he had been raised from the dead.

(This account is in Luke 24: 36 – 49 as well as John 20: 19 – 23)

15 And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. 16 Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned. 17 These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. 18 They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.”

(This is an extended version of the Great Commission in Matthew 28: 19 and Acts 1:8. The signs mentioned are in various gospels and Acts except for the mention of drinking poison.)

19 When the Lord Jesus had finished talking with them, he was taken up into heaven and sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 20 And the disciples went everywhere and preached, and the Lord worked through them, confirming what they said by many miraculous signs.

(Jesus’ ascension was told in Luke 24: 51 and in Acts 1: 9 – 11)

Here are the remaining verses that are included in many translations of the Bible. The verses below were taken from the New Living Translation which includes dark italicized introductions.

Scholars today think that sections of the other gospels were added to Mark’s gospel several years after Mark’s gospel was written. Many of the things mentioned in verses 9 to 20 come from the various gospels. I’ll include where they came from as you read these remaining 11 verses.

[The most ancient manuscripts of Mark conclude with verse 16:8. Later manuscripts add one or both of the following endings.]

[Shorter Ending of Mark]

Then they briefly reported all this to Peter and his companions. Afterward Jesus himself sent them out from east to west with the sacred and unfailing message of salvation that gives eternal life. Amen.

[Longer Ending of Mark]

After Jesus rose from the dead early on Sunday morning, the first person who saw him was Mary Magdalene, the woman from whom he had cast out seven demons. 10 She went to the disciples, who were grieving and weeping, and told them what had happened. 11 But when she told them that Jesus was alive and she had seen him, they didn’t believe her.

(These details are also found in John 20: 11 to 18 and in Luke 8: 12 (facts about the demons).)

12 Afterward he appeared in a different form to two of his followers who were walking from Jerusalem into the country. 13 They rushed back to tell the others, but no one believed them.

(The story of the encounter on the road to Emmaus is found in Luke 24: 13 – 35)

14 Still later he appeared to the eleven disciples as they were eating together. He rebuked them for their stubborn unbelief because they refused to believe those who had seen him after he had been raised from the dead.

(This account is in Luke 24: 36 – 49 as well as John 20: 19 – 23)

15 And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. 16 Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned. 17 These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. 18 They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.”

(This is an extended version of the Great Commission in Matthew 28: 19 and Acts 1:8. The signs mentioned are in various gospels and Acts except for the mention of drinking poison.)

19 When the Lord Jesus had finished talking with them, he was taken up into heaven and sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 20 And the disciples went everywhere and preached, and the Lord worked through them, confirming what they said by many miraculous signs.

(Jesus’ ascension was told in Luke 24: 51 and in Acts 1: 9 – 11)

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