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The Book of Mark

Chapter 16

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”

But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”

Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.

[The earliest manuscripts and some other ancient witnesses do not have the verses 9–20 below.]

When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it.

Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either.

Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

Because of the approaching Sabbath, no one was able to anoint Jesus’ body after the crucifixion. They had to rush to get his body in the tomb by sunset and didn’t have time to finish preparing him for burial. Then they had to rush to finish the preparation as soon as possible after the Sabbath. But they didn’t get to anoint him because his body wasn’t there, he had risen. Actually, Jesus was anointed for burial; a week earlier by the woman with the container of nard. In this way all things are completed, just not exactly in the usual order.With the resurrection there is completeness as well. In Jesus’ earthly life he predicted, and the Old Testament scriptures testified, that he would be killed, and then he would rise. The angel reminds the woman of what Jesus had said; that he would rise and then meet the disciples in Galilee.Completeness does not mean the end however. By Jesus’ death and resurrection we are saved, but we are commissioned to go out and preach this good news to all creation. Jesus’ work is done, but ours is just beginning. As we go out into the world, it may be helpful to remember the words of Francis of Assisi; “Preach the gospel at all times — If necessary, use words.”We serve a risen savior who sits at the right hand of God the Father. Let’s spread the news.

Question to ponder:

  • How did the gospel come to you? What is your salvation story?
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