Good News! The tomb is empty! Jesus is Risen! He is Alive! Wow! This last chapter of Mark summarizes that first Easter Sunday rather nicely. Let’s dig into the Gospel Truth…
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. 2 Very early on Sunday morning, just at sunrise, they went to the tomb. 3 On the way they were asking each other, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” 4 But as they arrived, they looked up and saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled aside.
5 When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a white robe sitting on the right side. The women were shocked, 6 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. 7 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.”
8 The women fled from the tomb, trembling and bewildered, and they said nothing to anyone because they were too frightened.
[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]
9 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.
12 Afterward he appeared in a different form to two of his followers who were walking from Jerusalem into the country. (The Road to Emmaus) 13 They rushed back to tell the others, but no one believed them.
14 Still later he appeared to the eleven disciples as they were eating together. (Doubting Thomas) 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.
15 And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. (The Great Commission) 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.”
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.Mark 16 NLT
Which is the Authentic Ending to the Gospel of Mark?
I say it doesn’t matter. He’s summarizing the events of that first Easter Sunday. If you want to dig deeper into this, I embedded videos at the bottom from Pastor Mike Winger who dug very deep on the endings. I also included a link to his whole Gospel of Mark study playlist, which I used, in part, as research for this series.
Let’s discuss what does matter…
- The ladies were the last at the cross and the first at the tomb. They were the eye witnesses.
- We DO NOT NEED baptism for SALVATION! Verse 16 is often twisted to claim that baptism is a requisite for salvation. It is NOT! The thief at the cross wasn’t baptized.
- Compare all 4 Gospels…
- John 19: A Rescue Mission for the World: Jesus, the Son of God Sacrificed His Life for You!
- John 20a: He Saw and Believed, Blessed are Those Who Believe in #esus without Seeing
- John 20 b: Is there Hope for Peter? Jesus Restores the Betrayer
- Matthew 27: Jesus is Dead – The Darkest Day in Human History
- Matthew 28: Good News! Jesus is Alive & He Defeated Death to Save Us!
- Luke 23: We Walked Where Jesus Walked. Will You Follow Him to the Cross?
- Luke 24: Death is Defeated! Jesus, the King, Our Hope is Alive!
Different accounts actually prove that it is the truth. Each witness to an event sees it from their point of view — from a different angle. What’s important here is this…
Jesus’ death on the cross proved that He was human.
His resurrection proved that He was GOD.
He defeated sin by dying on the cross.
Likewise, He defeated death by rising from the dead.
It’s so amazing how Jesus extended this invitation to the disciples, who had betrayed Him in His darkest hour. This is the grace of God. The disciples deserted Jesus! They didn’t deserve to be reunited with Him. But Jesus desired a relationship with them, and He demonstrated grace and forgiveness to those He loved.
Jesus does the same thing for us. We don’t deserve and couldn’t earn His love, and yet He offers it to us anyway!
Pause: Have You fully embraced the resurrection of Jesus Christ? Do you live in the freedom of knowing that Jesus is victorious, that sin has lost its grip on you, and that you were bought with the precious blood of Christ?
Practice: Ask God to reveal any areas where sin still has control over you. Ask Him to also show you where you might be striving or trying to earn love. Ask Him for forgiveness and repent of those sins today.
Pray: Jesus, thank You for Your death and resurrection. Thank You that You humbled Yourself and came to earth to die for my sins. Thank You that You made a way for me to know You, and all that I need to do is receive this free gift of salvation. Forgive me for my striving. I choose to live in freedom. Help me to tell others about this good news! Amen.Denise Trio, The Gospel of Mark (Part Seven):
“If Peter fell, I too may fall. But if Peter stood up again, I also can!”Martin Luther
Look at the greeting John writes in Revelation 1…
Grace and peace to you from the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come; from the sevenfold Spirit before his throne; 5 and from Jesus Christ. He is the faithful witness to these things, the first to rise from the dead, and the ruler of all the kings of the world.
All glory to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood for us. 6 He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.
7 Look! He comes with the clouds of heaven.
And everyone will see him—
even those who pierced him.
And all the nations of the world
will mourn for him.
8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega—the beginning and the end,” says the Lord God. “I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come—the Almighty One.”Revelation 1: 4-8 NLT
Jesus didn’t go through all this so we could have RELIGION! NO! He did this all so He could have a personal RELATIONSHIP with YOU!
If you give Jesus your YES, He’ll take care of the rest!
So, what are you waiting for?