Mark 16:9-20 – Go!

Read Mark 16:9-20

Bible scholars point out that this passage is not included in the best manuscripts of Mark’s gospel, was not written by Mark, and does not have the same “feel” of the rest of the gospel. However, there is nothing wrong with the message. It appears to be a gathering of details found in other gospels and even the book of Acts. Yet, inquiring minds continue to ponder the inclusion of this ending.

For whatever reason this passage is included in God’s Word, so let’s reflect on the message it brings to us today. We see that (1) the pattern of unbelief when first hearing of Jesus’ resurrection, (2) Jesus makes several appearances and then ascends to heaven, and (3) our call to the mission field is included. All in all, it’s a very nice closure to the gospel giving us the next steps we need to move forward on our own faith journey.

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Mark 16:1-8 – The Empty Tomb

Read Mark 16:1-8

When is an ending not the end? When death ends in a victorious resurrection! The tomb was empty! Jesus is alive!

You also noticed that Mark’s gospel abruptly ends (in most ancient manuscripts) with verse 8. The sentences that follow here are thought to have been added to help bring a better closure to this climatic ending.

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Mark 15:42-47 – Put to Rest

Read Mark 15:42-47

What surprised you in today’s reading? Perhaps it was that a respected member of the high council wanted Jesus’ body. What moved Joseph to take this risk? Mark’s gospel speaks of the linen, the location, and those witnessing Jesus’ resting place.

As a child, I remember reciting the “Apostle’s Creed,” and we proclaimed every week that Jesus was buried. It happened that way. But Jesus’ was not a normal burial. This was the entombment of God’s only son.

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Mark 15:33-41 – Jesus Died for You

Read Mark 15:33-41

Sit with this text for a while today. Jesus has died. While we weren’t there, there were plenty of bystanders and Roman soldiers looking on. What did they see?

Our last reading gave us the time stamp of 9:00 a.m. for when Jesus was nailed to the cross. Three hours pass full of mocking and taunts. Then darkness falls for three more hours. That just doesn’t happen every day! “In that day,” says the Sovereign Lord, ‘I will make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth while it is still day.’” (Amos 8:9)

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Mark 15:21-32 – To the Cross

Read Mark 15:21-32

Jesus’ journey to the cross comes to an end in this reading. As we read through this account, let’s unpack some of the rich symbolism and fulfillment of prophecy, as well as detail that Mark wanted to include in his account of this life-changing event.

Golgotha was the place, located out of the city. In that day, crucifixions were reserved for criminals against the ruling power. Crucifixions were symbolic to show political power triumphing over those rebels. These death sentences occurred outside the city gates, intensifying the shame. You may recall that Old Testament blasphemers were stoned outside the city walls. Jesus had been accused of the same from the religious leaders.

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