Bible Reading Day 77
Day 77 – Mark 16
In our journey through Mark’s gospel we have reached the conclusion. It is Saturday evening, and Jesus has been in the tomb for 24 hours, when the three women we noted yesterday go to buy spices for embalming the body, but they are unable to go to the tomb until sunrise on Sunday.
Early on Sunday morning they go to the tomb, questioning who will roll away the heavy stone. Clearly three women would not be able to move such a large stone. But when they arrive they find the problem is literally moved aside!
Mark records that the women went into the tomb and met an angel who told them Jesus was risen. The angel sends them (literally “apostles” them) to tell the disciples, including Peter, to meet Jesus in Galilee. Mark then tells us that the women ran from the tomb in fright without telling anyone (at least at that moment).
Then there are two endings in most translations. A shorter version (second half of verse 8) gives a very brief final sentence telling us that the women later told Peter and the rest of the disciples. Mark also notes that Jesus commissioned the disciples to spread the good news of salvation.
The longer version of the ending is in verses 9-20, and there have been discussions about these verses for centuries. The most likely conclusion from the evidence we have is that these verses are legitimately part of Mark’s gospel. If you are drawn to academic arguments (for and against), you will find a deep and extensive summary of them if you click here! (just remember I warned you it was deep and extensive!)
OK, if the longer ending is in the gospel, let’s see what it has to say to us: first Mary Magdalene tells the disciples Jesus is risen, but they don’t believe her! What a wonderful snippet of self-incrimination! These disciples are just like us – human and imperfect – but God builds a church through them by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Second, Jesus rebukes the disciples for their unbelief because they refused to believe the others who HAD seen Him. Ever made the same mistake? Refusing to accept the testimony of another because God hasn’t shown himself to me personally? Me too. But now I’m committed to hearing and treasuring the testimony of others.
Finally we see Mark’s headline version of the Great Commission, and Jesus’ ascension, together with a link to the Book of Acts – the disciples went everywhere and preached, and the Lord worked through them, confirming what they said by many miraculous signs. So God’s miraculous activity confirms our testimony.
What does God want to do through you today?
Have a great day!
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