How can we put into words a fitting summary of Mark 16? Mark is the first New Testament book written, and this is the first account we have of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. How can we comprehend an indescribable event such as this? How can we fathom the moment that all of history hinges on?
The chapter opens with the backdrop of intense sadness. We find the two Marys coming to anoint the dead body of Jesus — something neither of them expected to do. This was, after all, their Messiah. After His horrible death, they wanted to honor Him with the proper burial rituals. One problem: who would roll the large stone away?
But as they arrived, they looked up and saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled aside. Mark 16:4
The women must have been scared and confused. Initial suspicions were probably of grave-robbers or that someone came to desecrate the body of Jesus. What they found next blew their minds even though Jesus had tried to tell them He would return from the dead. An angel of the Lord declared the good news to them:
“Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body.” Mark 16:6
These women were the first eyewitnesses of the empty tomb, an event so grand that it caused the women to fear and tremble (v.8). Eventually, they would tell the news to the disciples, and the chapter ends with a brief comment on the Great Commission.
When I read this chapter, I’m simply in awe, much like the women were. The one thing that no human could ever have victory over was now defeated. Jesus conquered death! This is why we exist as a church, to worship the Risen King, to tell the world about the Savior that has the power to free people from the handcuffs of sin and death.
Does the truth of the resurrection affect the way you live? Does it change the way you worship? Does it give you passion to point others to Jesus? I heard a pastor once say this: “The church needs to quit looking like a funeral parlor and start acting like the tomb is actually empty!”
The only way I could summarize this chapter is this: the most triumphant, beautiful, awe-inspiring moment in all of history.
By: Todd Thomas — Worship & College Pastor