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A Heart For God: Resurrection (Mark 16:1-20)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Resurrection (Mark 16:1-20)

(This is supplement 15 to the #mkbiblechat study taking place every Friday morning at 9:30 a.m. Eastern, 6:30 Pacific USA. Pastor Mike is teaching the Gospel of Mark on Twitter. Click here for class schedule and links to the notes. Click here to follow Pastor Mike on Twitter.)


The Gospel of Mark can be outlined as follows: 1st 8 chapters ~ "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve"; 2nd 8 chapters ~ "and to give His life a ransom for many." (Mark 10:45)

We left off last week with Christ dead and buried. (Mark 15:46-47) But it couldn't end here!


"And when the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, that they might come [to the tomb] and anoint Him (Jesus)." (Mark 16:1) 

Christ's rising from the dead is the most glorious and unexpected event in the entirety of human history. (Mark 16:1-3) The women are coming as an act of love much like bringing flowers to a gravesite. (NLT) They are anticipating a dead man, still dead, with no hope or expectation of anything else. And when Jesus has spoken often to the disciples of His being raised on the third day! Why don't we believe it if God says it?

The tomb isn't opened to let Jesus out. (Mark 16:4-6a) Instead, it's opened to let others in to see He isn't there.

The angel points to the place where Jesus once lay. (Mark 16:6b) The women are then told to go tell the disciples and Peter. (Mark 16:7) We pick up the account of Mary going to tell Peter in John 20:1-8. The place where Jesus lay is highlighted again, but with an added specific detail. It's the grave clothes (the place where Jesus lay) that are really the focal point. (John 20:5-7) It's what convinces John especially that Jesus is risen. (John 20:8)

So what is it that convinces John? The grave clothes are two pieces, one for the body, one for the head. The clothes are in the exact same place that they were when Jesus was lying there. (The face-cloth is not moved over to the side as if someone or Jesus Himself moved it as some suggest.) The clothes haven't been moved a single inch, millimeter, iota, bit, smidge. However you want to say it!

Are you hearing me somebody? Jesus was not unwrapped and the clothes thrown in a corner, shoved aside. Someone didn't come and grab Him and carry Him off with the clothes still on Him. Both pieces are still in the exact same place. They have descended as if air has been let out of a balloon. This is what convinced John!

The Appearances of Christ after rising from the dead:
1. Mary Magdalene. (Mark 16:9)
2. Other women. (Matthew 28:9; Luke 24:10b)
3. Peter. (1 Corinthians 15:5)
4. Two disciples on Emmaus road. (Luke 24:15-31; 36-43)
5. Ten apostles - Thomas absent. (John 20:19, 24)
6. Eleven apostles - Thomas present. (John 20:26-28)
7. Seven disciples fishing. (John 21:1-14)
8. Eleven apostles on the mountain. (Matthew 28:16-17)
9. Five hundred brothers. (1 Corinthians 15:6)
10. James (Christ's half brother). (1 Corinthians 15:7)
11. Eleven apostles prior to ascension. (Acts 1:2-9)
12. Saul on the road to Damascus. (Acts 9:1-6)


How do we deal with this unique passage that's not included in the oldest manuscripts? (Mark 16:9-20) How can we accept it as the very Word of God? (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21) One way we deal with it is we recognize that it has solid reference in other undisputed portions of Scripture.


Mark 16:9-11 is not included in the oldest manuscripts, but it has solid reference in John 20:1; 11-18.


Mark 16:12-13 is not included in the oldest manuscripts, but it has solid reference in Luke 24:15-31; 36-43.


Mark 16:14 is not included in the oldest manuscripts, but it has solid reference in John 20:26-28.


Mark 16:15-18 is not included in the oldest manuscripts, but it has solid reference in Matthew 28:16-20.


"'Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.'" (John 14:12)

There is a general application here of our Lord's protection surrounding His people when they find themselves in dangerous situations. (Mark 16:18) This does not mean we should presume upon God. (Matthew 4:7)


Mark 16:19 is not included in the oldest manuscripts, but it has solid reference in Luke 24:50-51 and Acts 1:9.


Mark 16:20 is not included in the oldest manuscripts. It's solid reference is the entire book of Acts.


1. Mark includes something unusual in his account of Christ's resurrection that none of the other Gospels record. Read Mark 16:1-8 and see if you can figure it out.

2. "Baptism is a requirement for salvation." (Mark 16:16) True or false? Explain your answer.

3. Unusual signs are to accompany believers in Jesus Christ including the ability to "pick up serpents" and "drink deadly poison." (Mark 16:17-18) What do you think that means?

4. "God has been known to plan a celebration in a cemetery." ("Six Hours One Friday" by Max Lucado) Ponder this quote and think about how it might apply in your own life right now.

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Blogger James E. Snapp, Jr. said...

Hi Mike,

I'd add that although Mark 16:9-20 is not found in the two oldest Greek manuscripts of Mark 16 (both of which were produced in the 300's), all the other ancient Greek manuscripts of Mark 16 include the passage. This includes old copies such as Codices A, C, D, and W.

In addition, although we have no catalogued manuscripts of Mark from the 100's -- a result of Roman persecution and the tendency of papyrus to gradually decay in humid climates -- we do have some early church writings from that period:

Justin Martyr, c. 160, alluded to Mk. 16:20 in First Apology ch. 45 (and probably refers to 16:14 in ch. 50 of the same composition).

Tatian, c. 172, incorporated all 12 verses into his Diatessaron, a narrative that consisted of the combined contents of all four Gospels.

The anonymous author of a composition called "Epistula Apostolorum," c. 150-180, does not quote from Mark 16:9-20 directly but uses the timeline of events that is presented only there: a woman who has seen Jesus tells the disciples that she has seen Jesus, but they do not believe her.

Irenaeus, c. 184, specifically quoted Mark 16:19 in Book 3 of his composition "Against Heresies."

These four pieces of evidence are not manuscripts, but they echo ancient manuscripts -- manuscripts considerably older than the two copies from the 300's in which Mark's text stops at 16:8.

In addition, in the two manuscripts from the 300's in which Mark's text stops at 16:8, there are quirks at that point: in one of them (Vaticanus), the copyist left a distinct blank space after 16:8, as if he only had access to a copy in which the text stopped at 16:8 but he recollected the absent verses and attempted to reserve space for them. In the other one (Sinaiticus), all the text from Mark 14:54-Luke 1:56 is on four pages that were not written by the copyist who made the surrounding pages. The handwriting on these four pages strongly resembles the handwriting of one of the copyists who helped produce Codex Vaticanus.

Much more could be said about this -- for example, it should be pointed out, when footnotes say something like, "Some manuscripts have no text after 16:8; others have verses 9-20," that as far as the Greek evidence is concerned, the "Som" consists of two manuscripts and the "Others" consists of over 1,700 manuscripts. (A few medieval copies (manuscripts #304, 2386, and 1420) also lack verses 9-20 but this is because they have been damaged.)

Yours in Christ,

James Snapp, Jr.

7:15 AM  
Anonymous Holly Michael said...

Great post today! Rich full of Biblical knowledge and thought provoking stuff! THanks for sharing! Holly

4:55 PM  

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