March 9, 2022 – Mark 16: 1-8 – Terror and Amazement

Today we are reading from 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.]]

Ok, before we deal with this text, let’s talk about this “shorter ending of Mark” business.  If you read from a “modern” translation of Scripture (NIV, NRSV, ESV, NASB, NLT, NKJV, to name a few) you will see this note at the end of this passage; some ancient manuscripts do not have verses 9-20.  Scripture has its “autographs” the original letters or Gospels and manuscripts, copies of those. We have thousands of copies of manuscripts.  All of your “new” bible translations as listed above, they are translated from these manuscripts. What is happening here is this; many of these (but not all, not the majority) do not have verses 9-20; they end at verse 8.  These modern translations like to note that. It is possible that these verses were a later addition from when Mark wrote this Gospel. We’ll talk more about those passages tomorrow.  

Today, let’s look at what we see here:  terror and amazement.  I love that. When they saw what had happened, they were terrified, what does this mean?  And amazed.  What has happened?  I think that is a great response to the work of God and perhaps should be a constant theme in our lives. 

Terror and amazement.  We need that healthy understanding of who God is.  He is awesome, He is amazing, He is “other.”  He is God.  He is not a human.  He is different from we are.  He does not think as we think, He does not act as we act.  He is different from us in every way. 

That should inspire a little bit of healthy fear.  Like Job, I have put my hand over my mouth. God is awesome and He is mighty. 

And amazement.  What a wonderful thing He has done. We should step back and understand the awe of what God has done.  

Do we have a proper respect for who God is?  Do we have amazing what He has done? 

That was their response to the miracle of the resurrection. May it be our response to all that God has done. 

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