God’s Word of Mercy and Forgiveness
Mark 16:1-20: Mark’s account of Jesus’s resurrection is often referred to as an empty tomb story because of the way it ends at verse 8, with the empty tomb being proof of Jesus’s resurrection. It is believed that the additional ending (verses 9-20) was added in the late second or early third century A.D. In today’s reading, several women go to the tomb to anoint Jesus’s body. When they arrive, a messenger tells them that Jesus has been raised to life. According to the additional ending, Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene and to his followers. Jesus tells his disciples what they must do and is then taken up to heaven.
(Matthew 28.1-8; Luke 24.1-12; John 20.1-10)
1After the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices to go and anoint the body of Jesus. 2Very early on Sunday morning, at sunrise, they went to the tomb. 3-4On the way they said to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” (It was a very large stone.) Then they looked up and saw that the stone had already been rolled back. 5So they entered the tomb, where they saw a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe—and they were alarmed.
6“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is not here—he has been raised! Look, here is the place where he was placed. 7 Now go and give this message to his disciples, including Peter: ‘He is going to Galilee ahead of you; there you will see him, just as he told you.’”
8So they went out and ran from the tomb, distressed and terrified. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.
AN OLD ENDING TO THE GOSPEL
Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene
(Matthew 28.9,10; John 20.11-18)
[ 9After Jesus rose from death early on Sunday, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had driven out seven demons. 10She went and told his companions. They were mourning and crying; 11and when they heard her say that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe her.
Jesus Appears to Two Followers
12After this, Jesus appeared in a different manner to two of them while they were on their way to the country. 13They returned and told the others, but these would not believe it.
Jesus Appears to the Eleven
(Matthew 28.16-20; Luke 24.36-49; John 20.19-23; Acts 1.6-8)
14Last of all, Jesus appeared to the eleven disciples as they were eating. He scolded them, because they did not have faith and because they were too stubborn to believe those who had seen him alive. 15 He said to them, “Go throughout the whole world and preach the gospel to all people. 16Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17Believers will be given the power to perform miracles: they will drive out demons in my name; they will speak in strange tongues; 18if they pick up snakes or drink any poison, they will not be harmed; they will place their hands on sick people, and these will get well.”
Jesus Is Taken Up to Heaven
(Luke 24.50-53; Acts 1.9-11)
19 After the Lord Jesus had talked with them, he was taken up to heaven and sat at the right side of God. 20The disciples went and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and proved that their preaching was true by the miracles that were performed.]
ANOTHER OLD ENDING
Today’s Key Verse: Mark 16:6b
“I know you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is not here—he has been raised! Look, here is the place where he was placed.”
What were the women at the tomb told to do? How does verse 8 describe what they were feeling? What are your thoughts about Mark’s Gospel ending at verse 8? Verses 9-11 recount Jesus’s appearance to Mary Magdalene. When she told the disciples that Jesus was alive, why didn’t they believe her? If you were among the disciples, what might your reaction have been to such news? What instructions did Jesus give his followers? What will you do today to show others that you are a follower of and believer in Jesus?
Alleluia! Lord Jesus, you are alive forevermore! The good news of your resurrection fills my heart with joy! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.
Psalm 118:15-29: A prayer of thanksgiving for victory.