MONDAY, AUGUST 13
SCRIPTURE: Mark 16
If this chapter was a movie, this would be the climax, the point of our story that causes us to leap up out of our seats. This moment changed history and humanity forever. Lots of people died on a cross in that day, but none resurrected to life except Jesus!
We see the two Mary’s going to the tomb to honor Jesus’ body at the start of our chapter. They are in mourning and great sadness as they walk very early in the morning. They had questions as we see in verse 3. What will the Roman guards do? Will they let them in? How will they move the rock at the entry? But the reason that they are going to the tomb shows us something about the women. The women were going out of love, devotion, and respect to Jesus. They were at risk by walking without a man, willing to face difficulty and uncertainty by the Roman guards and any people who might see them. Their relationship with Jesus is what powered them past the unknown and uncertainty to do something for Jesus. Despite their circumstances, these two women did what no one else dared, and because of their action, they saw something they could have not ever imagined!
When they arrive at the tomb (verse 4), more questions came? Who rolled the stone away? Then as they went inside the tomb, the biggest question comes, “where is Jesus’ body?” Can you imagine being in their sandals? The mourning and sadness have now turned to shock and fear as to where Jesus’ body was. But when a young man (not an angel as other Gospel accounts say) speaks to them and tells them that Jesus is risen from the dead, their emotions go to an entirely new level. (Verses 5-8) Can you imagine that? Imagine that walk from the tomb to where the disciples were.
Some of you may be wondering or asking about this chapter, because some translations show that there are some differences in the length of this chapter. The earliest and most reliable manuscripts of Mark end at verse 8. For the sake of time and avoiding a really long explanation, I won’t go into the why for the longer ending. There is a lot of debate on this ending of Mark if you wish to investigate. Later manuscripts of Mark, included by scribes but most likely not Mark, add verses 9-20. Remember that Mark was the first Gospel written. Mark has no account of Jesus’ birth and never mentions Joseph, Jesus’ adopted earthly father. This early ending also has no earthly appearance of Jesus after the Resurrection, which bothered many who helped add the latter verses.
Don’t get lost in the details for the big picture. It is important to note that every Gospel account was written for a purpose that was specific from the other Gospel accounts. Matthew focused on the Jews and the Law, so Matthew quotes the Old Testament more than any other Gospel. Luke was written to Theophilus to give a detailed account of the life of Jesus, so we see details that other Gospel accounts do not focus. Mark was written to Gentiles in Rome and shows Jesus’ miracles and that Jesus cared for the Gentiles. John’s purpose was to show that Jesus was the Son of God and the Messiah, so John focused on the divinity of Christ. Ultimately, every Gospel shows Jesus as the Messiah, who was sinless, perfect, died on the Cross, and rose from the dead.
The additions of most of verses 9-16 comes from the Resurrection portions of the other three Gospel accounts, while verses 17-20 are only found in Mark. For those of you who have these noted differences, I hope this helps explain a little for you.