Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Psalm 118:1-29; Mark 16:1-8 / Romans 6:1-14

I. Jesus Was Dead and Buried

A. At least His friends had seen Jesus die on the cross and the women who were close to Him wanted to treat His corpse with the appropriate respect due the dead; in Israel in those days people did not simply dispose of people they loved. “And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.” (Mark 16:1)

B. On the third day of the nightmare, the women arrived with the sun to enter the cave where the body lay, wash it, and wrap it with funeral spices. “And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. (Mark 16:2)

1. Displaying holy boldness and contempt for the powerful people who had killed Jesus, the women to whom Jesus had been so kind would not abandon Him in death. “Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.” (Song of Solomon 8:6)

2. The awareness of sin’s awful features draws the forgiven in a way that modern people with no grasp of law and grace cannot understand, much less emulate. “Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. (Luke 7:47)

C. Though bold in their faithfulness, the women borrowed unnecessary fear from their own imaginations; how would they gain access to the cave which had been sealed with a great stone and surrounded by Roman soldiers assigned to keep people away from the body? “And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?” (Mark 16:3)

D. The stone was out of place and there were no officials to stop them from doing what they came to do. “And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.” (Mark 16:4)

E. The women were frightened when they found someone other than Jesus apparently waiting for them. “And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.” (Mark 16:5)

II. Jesus Was Missing

A. Jesus had been buried in the tomb where the women stood, but He was gone. “And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.” (Mark 16:6)

B. Jesus had gone to Galilee and the women were to tell the church leaders to follow. “But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.” (Mark 16:7)

C. At first, the women were paralyzed with fear and the world wants the story to stop at this point; dead people do not come back to life. “And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid. (Mark 16:8)

III. Jesus Is Active and Present

A. Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene. “Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.” (Mark 16:9)

B. Mary Magdalene went to tell the authorities, but they didn’t have what it took to believe her. And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept. And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not. (Mark 16:10-11)

C. Jesus then appeared to a pair of disciples, but the important people would not believe this report either. After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country. And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them.” (Mark 16:12-13)

D. Finally, Jesus appeared to the Apostles and gave them a hard time before sending them into the world to tell every creature that God keeps His promises. “Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” (Mark 16:14-18)

E. God’s own church is still following instructions, telling the world that Jesus triumphed and is now in heaven governing the world. “So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.” (Mark 16:19-20) He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him. (Psalm 126:6)

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