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Mark 16

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

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.

Posted by Jeremy Witt with

Mark 15

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

FRIDAY, AUGUST 10 

SCRIPTURE:  Mark 15

BY: Jeremy Witt

Today’s chapter is the Cross and the events immediately leading up to the moment that changed everything.  I struggle to write something new and insightful, yet that is not my job.  I am reminded that I do not need to do anything but point to Jesus and this chapter clearly does this.  This moment shows us the love of the Father, the sacrifice of the Son, and a picture of grace unlike anything else.

Verse1 is full of irony as men whose purpose is to glorify and point people to God (priests) are doing just the opposite.  The Creator who spoke life into existence is being condemned in words by these men.  The Word (John 1:1) is being condemned by words of men. 

Verses 2-15 shows us Pilate’s condemnation of Jesus for crucifixion.  If anything can be pointed out here, we see how a man who finds no guilt in another man can be swayed by public opinion to go against his own judgment.  Fear of man is a powerful thing that keeps us from being what God desires us to be.  Be careful of fearing man over fearing God.  Some of the other Gospel accounts give us more insight into Pilate’s struggle to condemn Jesus. 

Verses 16-20 is a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy that the Messiah would be mocked, beaten, and ultimately killed.  Jesus then had to carry His own cross until Roman soldiers made a passerby named Simon to carry it for Jesus in verses 21-23.  Scripture is fulfilled as the soldiers gamble for Jesus’ clothes and nail Him to a cross.  People yell and make fun of Him as Jesus stands in our (my) place.  He is struggling to breathe as people curse Him.  The religious are rejoicing as they see Him bleed and gasp for air.  Yet Jesus remained despite having the power to call angels to rescue Him.  He stayed.  He was focused on the task that the Father gave Him.  He stayed there for me and for you.  He stayed!

The Lamb was on the cross, and was offered sour (bitter) wine in verse 36. (remember Passover comments from yesterday’s devotional)  Jesus gave up His life.  He did this willingly.  He was not forced, but He chose to be obedient to the Father despite the circumstances.  He felt alone (verse 34) and He stood in my (our) place.  He suffered, He was persecuted, He was tortured, He was made fun of, He was beaten, and He was condemned by men.  Why?  For me and for you to be the payment for our sin debt is the reason why.  He paid the invoice for us in full.  He was the perfect Lamb without blemish or defect and was sacrificed for us, once for all, the just and the unjust. 

This day was unlike any before or will be.  There were signs in the sky as seen in verse 33, signs in the Temple as in verse 38 with the curtain being town in two from top to bottom,  The final moments of Jesus’ life were witnessed by women, who were faithful to Jesus throughout His life and to His death (verse 40-41, 47)  This cultural sign is significant because the culture held women in such low regard yet these women were privy to see those last moments and then eventually the first to hear of His resurrection.  Jesus sees us differently from the world.  He sees you differently.  Don’t allow how people view you keep you from Jesus.

Posted by Jeremy Witt with

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