THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Mark: Jesus, The Perfect Servant Of God
Part IV: The Victory Of The Perfect Servant, Mark 16:1-20
A. God's Comprehensive Provisions By Christ's Resurrection For The Women At The Tomb
A. Mark's Gospel was written by a man who was rebounding from having abandoned Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey (Acts 13:13) due to his faithlessly mishandling some unspecified difficulty.
B. That difficulty may have involved a hardship Mark faced that seemed too humanly daunting for him to handle.
C. Christ's resurrection power met a very practical series of super-human needs for the women who first appeared at the tomb to anoint Jesus' body, and it applies to addressing our needs of similar difficulties today:
II. God's Comprehensive Provisions By Christ's Resurrection For The Women At The Tomb, Mark 16:1-8.
A. Though Jesus arose from the dead on the third day after His crucifixion, death and burial, when that third day actually began, it was anything but a day of spiritual victory for the women who later came to the tomb:
1. First, Mary Magdalene and Mary the Mother of Joses had seen where Jesus' body was hurriedly laid by Joseph of Arimathaea, so they knew additional spices needed to be poured over the body "to counteract the odor of decay" and for them to express their "loving devotion" to Jesus, Bible Know. Com., N. T., p. 192.
2. Second, the arrival of the Sabbath right after the internment of Jesus' body made the need to anoint it all the more urgent, for the body would start to putrefy a whole day without the anointing, Mark 16:1 NIV.
3. Third, the women did not know that a Roman guard had been set before the tomb by Pilate to keep the stone door from being moved, a huge obstacle to their even anointing Jesus' body, cf. Matthew 27:62-66.
4. Fourth, the stone that covered the stone tomb door's entrance was very large (Mark 16:3, 4b). It has been estimated that the stone weighed between 1 1/2 to 2 tons, Josh McDowell, A Ready Defense, 1991, p. 226.
5. Fifth, Jesus' disciples were in a state of spiritual defeat: Peter had thrice denied the Lord and the others had abandoned Him at His arrest, events that would have discouraged these women, Mark 14:50, 53-72.
6. Sixth, and most significantly, the fact that Jesus had died signified in the minds of these women that He was not the Messiah, creating not only doubt in their hearts, but confusion and a loss of direction in life.
B. Regardless of these obstacles, each of them were removed by Christ's resurrection that day (as follows):
1. When they had purchased their spices and were bringing them to the tomb, they suddenly realized they had not planned for help in rolling away the huge stone that covered the tomb's door, Mark 16:1-3. Neither had they known that a Roman guard had been set to keep the door from being moved. Nevertheless, upon arriving at the tomb, they saw the stone had already been rolled away, Mark 16:4.
2. Upon entering the tomb, they saw an angel from heaven who said that Jesus had risen, that He was not there, and that the women could view where they had previously seen Him laid by Joseph of Arimathaea to see that He was not there anymore, Mark 16:5-6 with 15:47. This event solved several problems:
a. First, His resurrection made the unpleasant task of anointing Jesus' dead body no longer a necessity.
b. Second, the women did not have to use the spices they had purchased, but they could save them.
c. Third, the resurrection with the presence of the angel had caused the Roman guards to leave the tomb to speak to their superiors, so the women who followed Jesus were left unthreatened there, Matt. 28:1-4, 11.
3. The angel continued to speak with the women, encouraging them to tell Jesus' disciples and Peter that, regardless if they had abandoned Him, He was still going ahead of them into Galilee where He wanted to meet with them, Mk. 16:7. In place of disillusionment and aimlessness with the death of the Messiah, the angel now gave them His directions as foretold in His earthly ministry, providing direction and hope.
4. Note how the angel included Peter by name as still being included with the disciples regardless of the fact that he had denied the Lord three times, Mark 16:7 with 14:53-72. This news gave hope of forgiveness and restoration after defeat for all the disciples since all of them had abandoned Jesus, Mark 14:50.
C. These events were initially too overwhelming for the women to handle, so they fled from the tomb and told no one what they had witnessed, signaling the overwhelming power of Christ's resurrection provisions, Mk. 16:8.
Lesson: Each problem the women faced en route to the tomb was removed by the power of Jesus' resurrection, teaching all believers in Church History to rely on the risen Lord and His power to handle super-human trials.
Application: May we rely on our Risen Lord to remove every super-human obstacle we face in living for Him.