Yesterday we looked at the reason behind the way the way that the Gospel of Mark ends. Today we look at Mark 16:1-8:
When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. 2 And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. 3 They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” 4 When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. 6 But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.” 8 So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.
The Shorter Ending of Mark
[[And all that had been commanded them they told briefly to those around Peter. And afterward Jesus himself sent out through them, from east to west, the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation.]]
One of the things that we see when the women encounter the resurrection is fear. They are afraid. We see it illustrated in other Gospels, they think the body has been stolen or something awful has happened.
Jesus had told them that He would be raised, by they really didn’t get it. They really didn’t understand it. They (may) have known intellectually, but they really didn’t get it emotionally. They struggled to understand it.
For the Jewish mind, death was THE result of the fall. It is what happened because of the fall. The entire Levitical purity system was in many ways about removing the curse of death. If you touched anything dead, you were unclean. Think about the parable of the Good Samaritan. The reason the priest and Levite passed by is because the man looked death. The law would not have allowed them to touch him; they would not have been able to do their religious duties.
The high priest must have been born on a house or place that was made of bedrock. Bedrock is pure rock, there is no dirt or soil beneath it, meaning that there was no way there could have been any bones beneath it, meaning that there was no way they could have been born on top of impurity.
(By the way, thinking along those lines, think about where Jesus was born. Most likely in a cave. Pure bedrock.)
This is why they really couldn’t grasp it. You didn’t overcome death. Death was the result of this life. Death is the curse. Death is the result of the fall, death is the result of sin. We all die. All of us. Death wins.
Until this moment. Death has been overcome. Death has been defeated. Death has been destroyed. Sin, death, and the grave are no more. They are vanquished. They are gone. They are no more.
Jesus defeated death. Forever.
We sort of get that and understand it. Sort of. Even we struggle to understand that. Even we are afraid of death like they are. But we know that Jesus has overcome.
The didn’t really get it until they saw Him and understood.
Today, sin, death, and the grave are defeated. They hold no power over you. They are no more. Do not be afraid. Do not worry. Do not fear. They are forever gone and destroyed.
Jesus has defeated them.
Do not fear.
Tomorrow we’ll finish up Mark by looking at Mark 16:9-20.
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