Mark 16:1-11

Sunday Morning Bible Study

October 30, 2005


We’ve been walking through the account of Jesus’ last days. We’ve seen Him put on trial and condemned to death, even though He was an innocent man. We’ve seen Him be beaten, crucified, and die. We’ve seen Him buried.

As we mentioned last week, these are all important elements of the “gospel”.  The “gospel” is what a person needs to believe in order to be saved.  It’s what a person needs to believe in order to be forgiven.  It’s what a person needs to believe in order to know God.

(1 Cor 15:1-4 NKJV) Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, {2} by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you; unless you believed in vain. {3} For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, {4} and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,

:1 Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him.

Jesus died on Friday afternoon and was buried before sunset on Friday, when the Sabbath would begin.  The Sabbath would have ended at sunset on Saturday, so on Saturday evening; the gals went to the market to buy spices and aromatic oils to put on the body of Jesus. The Jews did not practice embalming, but they would put spices over a dead body to counteract the odor of decay and as a symbolic way to express loving devotion.

:2 Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.

John tells us that the gals left for the tomb while it was still dark (John 20:1). They arrive at the tomb when the sun came up on Sunday morning.

:3 And they said among themselves, "Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?"

The way Mark writes this (imperfect tense) – this is the topic they had been discussing all the way to the tomb:  “How in the world were they going to get that stone moved?”

:4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away; for it was very large.

In Israel, it was common for graves to have a heavy, flat, round stone rolled down into a groove at the mouth of the tomb.  For a small grave, up to twenty men were required to roll a stone down hill to cover the door of the tomb.

Matthew tells us how the stone was rolled away:

(Mat 28:2-3 NKJV) And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. {3} His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow.

Keep in mind that the stone wasn’t rolled away so Jesus could get out of the tomb. His resurrected body has the ability to walk through walls (Luke 24:36). The stone was moved so that the disciples could see that He had risen.

:5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed.

young man – Who is the young man? He’s an angel. Luke and John record there were two angels there. Matthew and Mark only mention the fellow that speaks to the women.

long white robestole – the word Mark uses describes a long stately robe, reaching to the feet, and sweeping the ground. The word was used of any garment of special richness, or beauty.

they were alarmedekthambeo – to throw into terror or amazement.

Were they alarmed at the body of Jesus being missing, or were they alarmed at the angel? Maybe both?

:6 But he said to them, "Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him.

He is not here – Jesus is unlike any other leader that has ever existed. 

A fellow named Siddhartha, later known as Gautama Buddha, or “Buddha” died in 483 BC, and was cremated.

A fellow named Kongfuzi, or Confucius, died in 479 BC, and is buried in Ch’ü-fu in Shandong province, China.

Muhammad died in 632 AD, and is buried in Medina.

Lenin died in 1924, and you can visit his grave in Red Square in Moscow.

But if you go to Israel and try looking for Jesus’ grave, you will find that He isn’t there.

:7 "But go, tell His disciples; and Peter; that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you."

Why is Peter mentioned by name out of all the disciples?

Mark’s gospel is Peter’s account, and this is the only gospel that records the angel mentioning Peter by name.

Peter had denied the Lord three times – and Jesus knew it.

But Jesus wasn’t finished with Peter.

Peter was forgiven. Jesus still had a use for Peter.


He’s not finished with you

Too often we take our own personality and expect for God to think and act like we do.
We are let down by people. We are disappointed in people. We get ticked off at people. We are impatient with people.
Sometimes I have trouble being patient with people that do such stupid things …

A life-long city man, tired of the rat race, decided he was going to give up the city life, move to the country, and become a chicken farmer. He bought a nice, used chicken farm and moved in. As it turned out, his next door neighbor was also a chicken farmer. The neighbor came for a visit one day and said, “Chicken farming isn’t easy. Tell you what. To help you get started, I’ll give you 100 chickens.” The new chicken farmer was thrilled. Two weeks later the neighbor dropped by to see how things were going. The new farmer said, “Not too well. All 100 chickens died.” The neighbor said, “Oh, I can’t believe that. I’ve never had any trouble with my chickens. I’ll give you 100 more.” Another two weeks went by and the neighbor stopped by again. The new farmer said, “You’re not going to believe this, but the second 100 chickens died too.” Astounded, the neighbor asked, “What went wrong?” The new farmer said, “Well, I’m not sure whether I’m planting them too deep or too close together.”

Peter had one time asked Jesus,
(Mat 18:21 NKJV) Then Peter came to Him and said, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?"

We think like Peter. We think that if we’ve put up with some person who has hurt us seven times that we must be pretty cool. But don’t forget Jesus’ response:

(Mat 18:22 NKJV) Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.

When we think about our own lives, we get to thinking that if we fail two or three times at a certain situation, that we can no longer be forgiven.
We give up on people who fail us and we expect that God must give up on us as well.
The angel had told the women that Jesus would meet the disciples after the resurrection in Galilee, and we have an account of what happened there:
(John 21:1-17 NKJV) After these things Jesus showed Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and in this way He showed Himself: {2} Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together. {3} Simon Peter said to them, "I am going fishing." They said to him, "We are going with you also." They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing. {4} But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. {5} Then Jesus said to them, "Children, have you any food?" They answered Him, "No." {6} And He said to them, "Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some." So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish. {7} Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it), and plunged into the sea. {8} But the other disciples came in the little boat (for they were not far from land, but about two hundred cubits), dragging the net with fish. {9} Then, as soon as they had come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread. {10} Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish which you have just caught." {11} Simon Peter went up and dragged the net to land, full of large fish, one hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not broken. {12} Jesus said to them, "Come and eat breakfast." Yet none of the disciples dared ask Him, "Who are You?"; knowing that it was the Lord. {13} Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them, and likewise the fish. {14} This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead. {15} So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Feed My lambs." {16} He said to him again a second time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Tend My sheep." {17} He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?" Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, "Do you love Me?" And he said to Him, "Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You." Jesus said to him, "Feed My sheep.

Sometimes we try to make a lot over the fact that Jesus and Peter used two different Greek “love”. But I’m not sure Peter was grieved because Jesus was using a better word than he was. Peter’s “grief” happened after the third question, and I think it clicked in Peter’s mind that he had denied Jesus three times, and now he was being given a chance to say three times to Jesus that he loved him. And three times Jesus gives Peter his commission, to take care of the flock.

Jesus isn’t finished with Peter. He’s got things for Peter to do.

It doesn’t matter what you’ve done.  If you admit to God your failures and are willing to turn from your sin, you will find forgiveness.
God isn’t finished with you either.
(Phil 1:6 NKJV) being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

:8 So they went out quickly and fled from the tomb, for they trembled and were amazed. And they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

they said nothing to anyone – though they didn’t speak to anyone else, they did speak to the disciples just as the angel had said to. John tells us that Peter and John went running to the tomb (John 20), but all they found were the linen cloths lying in a pile in the tomb with the napkin that had covered His head folded up next to them.

:9-11 Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene

We live in a day when there are all sorts of translations of the Bible. It seems that every year a new translation hits the bookshelves. The differences between one translation and another can be pretty big. But for the most part, the differences between translations is just that, a difference in how a phrase from the original Hebrew or Greek is translated.

What most folks don’t realize is that there can also be an underlying difference in the text that is actually being translated. We call these original Hebrew and Greek texts “manuscripts”.

When the various books of the Bible were written, there were no Xerox machines, Kinko’s, printing presses, or computers. The text was written by hand and copied by hand. We do not have any of the originals of any of the books, but we have copies of copies.

Before you get worried about whether or not the Bible text is accurate, let me assure you it is. When I say we have copies, we have thousands of these various, ancient, copies. Some copies were made on parchment, others on papyrus, and others on vellum. There are fragments of books, there are complete books, and there are collections of the various books.
The original New Testament books were written in a simple form of Greek, and we have over five thousand of these ancient Greek manuscripts. There were also ancient translations made into other languages from the Greek, including eight thousand Latin manuscripts; and copies translated into Syriac, Egyptian, Armenian, Georgian, Gothic, and Slavonic. There is a very complicated science that has gone into the study of these texts and trying to determine where the various texts have wandered from the original writings.
There are variations in the various ancient manuscripts. Sometimes copyists added or took away from the text as they copied. Most of the variations are very insignificant things like spelling, an added word, a dropped word, or a change in word order. There are two places where an entire paragraph is in doubt (here and in John 8). But in all the variations, there is nothing that changes doctrine.

There are some scholars that say that verse 9 to the end of Mark should not be included in the Bible. They say that these verses were added later to the original text, added by one of the people making handwritten copies of the gospel.  In some of your Bibles, these verses may be in italics, some put these verses in the margin, others have a footnote.

Their authority for this position comes from the fact that this particular portion of Mark’s gospel is not found in two of the older manuscripts; the Sinaiticus and the Vaticanus, both dating back to the 4th century.
The Codex Sinaiticus is one of the oldest manuscripts that contain all of the books of the New Testament. It was found at St. Catherine’s monastery on Mount Sinai by the German scholar Constantine Von Tischendorf in the mid-1800s.
What I find fascinating is that three of the early church fathers, Justin Martyr, Tatian, and Irenaeus, quote from this last half of Mark’s gospel. And they lived in the second century AD. This means that the entire text of Mark 16 was in existence before Sinaiticus or Vaticanus were copied. Though the last half of Mark 16 is not found in Codex Sinaiticus, it is found in the majority of later manuscripts.
This seems to indicate that the last half of Mark was written by Mark and not added later.

:9 Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons.

first day – Sunday morning. We worship on Sunday out of honor of the resurrection.

After Mary and the other gals had gone to the disciples and Peter and John ran to check out the tomb, Mary returned to the tomb by herself, wondering what had happened to Jesus.  And it’s then that Jesus appears to her (John 20:11-18).

:10 She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned and wept.

This time she didn’t just tell them that the tomb was empty. This time she told them that she had seen Jesus.

:11 And when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe.

had been seentheaomai – to behold, look upon, view attentively; word not used of an indifferent spectator, but of one who looks at a thing with interest and for a purpose.  She didn’t just “catch a glimpse” of Jesus.

(Luke 24:11 NKJV) And their words seemed to them like idle tales, and they did not believe them.


They may not believe the first time

People don’t always respond the way you hope they will when you share with them about Jesus.
A preacher, ending his sermon, announced that he would preach on Noah and his Ark on the following Sunday and gave the scriptural reference for the congregation to read ahead of time. A couple of mean boys noticed something interesting about the placement of the story of the Flood in the Bible. They slipped into the church and glued two pages of the pulpit Bible together. On the next Sunday, the preacher got up to read his text. “Noah took unto himself a wife,” he began, “and she was” - he turned the page to continue - “three hundred cubits long, fifty wide and thirty high.” He paused, scratched his head, turned the page back and read it silently, turned the page. Then he looked up at his congregation and said, “I’ve been reading this old Bible for nigh on to fifty years, but there are some things in it that are hard to believe.”
And for some folks, at first glance there are some things that seem hard to believe.  Until you spend some time investigating the truth…
And even though the disciples didn’t believe them at first, they will change their tune when Jesus shows up.
Don’t give up on sharing with your friends …


You are forgiven

The resurrection proves something more than just that Jesus is unique.
(Rom 4:25 NKJV) who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.
I think this is saying that Jesus was raised to prove that He had “justified” us, He had paid or our sins. He had made us right with God through His death on the cross. The proof that His death was an acceptable sacrifice, and that it had paid or our sins, was that He was raised from the dead.
(1 Cor 15:17 NKJV) And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!
The cleansing of a leper – leper was often seen in the Bible as a picture of sin – it numbs people, it causes loss, it made a person “unclean”, it caused a person to be separated from the rest of the people. It was incurable in Bible days. And yet Jesus came onto the scene and one of the things He did was to heal those with leprosy…
(Lev 14:1-7 NKJV) Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, {2} "This shall be the law of the leper for the day of his cleansing: He shall be brought to the priest. {3} "And the priest shall go out of the camp, and the priest shall examine him; and indeed, if the leprosy is healed in the leper, {4} "then the priest shall command to take for him who is to be cleansed two living and clean birds, cedar wood, scarlet, and hyssop. {5} "And the priest shall command that one of the birds be killed in an earthen vessel over running water. {6} "As for the living bird, he shall take it, the cedar wood and the scarlet and the hyssop, and dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the running water. {7} "And he shall sprinkle it seven times on him who is to be cleansed from the leprosy, and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the living bird loose in the open field.

the birds – perhaps they represent Jesus. One would die.

cedar wood – the cross

scarlet – perhaps a reference to the blood

hyssop – a type of plant that acts like a sponge and was used in cleansing ceremonies.

earthen vessel – the tomb

running water – blood and water at the cross

letting the bird loose – at the moment the leper is pronounced clean, the living bird that is covered with blood and water is let loose, like the resurrection.

Are you that one with the incurable disease?  Do you need forgiveness?  Jesus died to pay the penalty for your sins so you wouldn’t have to.  And He rose from the dead to prove that the debt had been paid in full.