Mark 16 – The Resurrection of Jesus & The Ending of Mark

This is the end of the Book of Mark so tomorrow we’ll being with…

Mark 16
The Resurrection of Jesus

1 And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.

“Sabbath was past” – about 6:00 p.m. Saturday evening.  No purchases were possible on the Sabbath.

“Spices” – embalming wasn’t practiced by the Jews.  These spices were brought as an act of devotion and love.

“That they might come and anoint him” – the women had no expectations of Jesus’ resurrection.

2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulcher at the rising of the sun.

3 And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulcher?

“Who shall roll us away the stone…? – setting the large stone in place was a relatively easy task, but once it had slipped into the groove cut in bedrock in front of the entrance it was very difficult to remove, as it probably weighed several hundred pounds.

4 And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.

5 And entering into the sepulcher, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.

6 And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.

“He is risen” – the climax of Mark’s Gospel is the resurrection, without which Jesus’s death, though noble, would be indescribably tragic.  But in the resurrection He is declared to be the Son of God with power (Rom 1:4).

7 But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.

8 And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulcher; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they anything to any man; for they were afraid.

9  Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.

10 And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept.

11 And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.

12 After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.

16:12-13 – a shortened account of the two going to Emmaus.

13 And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them.

14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.

“Eleven” – Judas Iscariot had committed suicide (Matt 27:5).

15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” – the Great Commission is found here and in all the Gospels (Matt 28:19-20; Lk 24:47-48; Jn 20:21), and in Acts 1:8.

Jesus’ final words are our “marching orders.”  They are important because apart from believing the gospel of Christ no one shall enter heaven (Jn 3:36; Rom 1:18).

16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

“Baptized” – baptism does not save, nor is it required for salvation.  Notice that in order to be “damned” one has only not to “believe.”  Nothing is said about not being baptized.  All the believers in the book of Acts are referred to as being baptized.

17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

20 And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

The Ending of Mark

There are several different endings to the Gospel of Mark found in the various Greek manuscripts.

Codex Bezae facsimile page of Mark 16:6-15.

Most Greek texts and several ancient translations conclude with the ending familiar to us as Mark 16:9-20. The earnest Greek manuscript with that ending is from the 5th century, but evidence from the church fathers suggests that it was already in existence during the 2nd century.

Many scholars feel, however, that the vocabulary and themes of the traditional ending are inconsistent with the rest of the Gospel.

In the two oldest Greek manuscripts and in a number of ancient versions, Mark’s Gospel ends at 16:8.

Clement of Alexandria and Origen show no knowledge of any ending of this Gospel account beyond verse 8, and Eusebius and Jerome affirm that nearly all Greek manuscripts known to them were concluded with this verse.

Most scholars believe that this is indeed the point at which the original Gospel probably ended and suggest that the other endings very likely developed during the 2nd century, after the Gospel of Mark was read alongside the other Gospels and appeared, by comparison, to lack a satisfactory conclusion.

Original Ending of Mark Found! (sort of)

Despite its abruptness, Mark 16:8 is arguably an appropriate ending for the Gospel, since one of its motifs is the fear caused by God’s powerful work in and through Jesus (see, e.g., 5:15,33; 9:6).

The women’s fear suggests that God had performed one more climactic, powerful work, confirming the testimony of the empty tomb and the angelic announcement that Jesus had indeed arisen from the dead, just as he had promised (8:31; 9:9,31; 10:34).

…the Book of Luke.