Intro: Christ is risen! Mark; who Jesus is, and what it means to follow Him: a journey to the Cross! Last
week, we saw Jesus crucified. Miraculously, the story continues! Christ is risen indeed!
On the Way to the Tomb! (Read Mark 16:1-3.)
B/c of the Sabbath laws, Joseph of Arimathea had to bury Jesus' body quickly; he used his own new tomb! Mark tells
us that three women, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger, and Salome, wanted to make sure Jesus'
body was buried properly. After the Sabbath was over, (sundown on Saturday night,) they purchased spices to anoint
Jesus' body. They got up early Sunday morning to anoint the body, but on the way, they think to ask, "Who will
move the tomb's stone away?" No small task; some estimate the stone to weigh 1-2 tons! Why are these women doing
all this? B/c they are horrified Jesus died in such a shameful way. They are thinking, Jesus' story can't end
this way, can it? We should at least honor Him in death!
Inside the Tomb! (Read Mark 16:4-5.) When the women arrive at the tomb, they are shocked. The stone has already
been rolled away! Their bewilderment grows as they work up the nerve to enter the tomb: Jesus' body is no longer
lying on the shelf where Joseph had placed it; in fact, Jesus' body isn't in the tomb at all! History has verified
this; Jesus Christ's tomb was empty that first Easter morning. But the question that has haunted humanity ever
since is, "What happened to the body of Jesus?" Both sincere believers and skeptics have asked, " Jesus' story
can't end this way, can it?" (Love history; has it's limits; need revelation!) Fortunately, there
was a young man/angel sitting on the shelf where Jesus' body used to be; God had sent him to explain the
He's Not in the Tomb! (Read Mark 16:6-7.) The angel tells the women not to be scared, (by his appearance and his
news!) He declares that the same Jesus they are looking for, the One who was crucified, has risen from the dead!
He offers them the evidence of the empty tomb. Then, he gives them a command: "Go tell the disciples and Peter,
'Jesus will meet you in Galilee!'" Notice, the angel reminds them, "Jesus already told you this was going to
happen!" (Read Mark
14:27-28.) Jesus has risen from the dead! But there's still something missing! What will the women do
w/this amazing news? Jesus' story can't end this way, can it?
Fleeing the Tomb! (Read Mark 16:8.) The women flee the tomb, "trembling and bewildered." And what do they do?
"They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid." What is fascinating is, this is where the story of Mark,
as we know it, ends. The most reliable manuscripts containing Mark's Gospel don't have anything after this point.
The early church said, the story can't end this way, can it? Vs. 9-20 as we find them in our Bibles were
likely added at least 100 years after Mark wrote his gospel; stitching together some of what was found in Matthew
and Luke's resurrection accounts. Did Mark write more? Maybe; we don't know! But let me ask a question: What if he
didn't? What if Mark's Gospel ended this way? (Read Mark 16:8.) Why would he do this?
Application : If Mark ended his gospel here, he would be leaving the ball in our court. B/c we get mad at
Mary, Mary and Salome: "You've seen the empty tomb! You've heard the angel's incredible news! You're the only
humans who know that Jesus has risen from the dead! And yet, you're not telling anyone, b/c you're afraid?!
You won't let Jesus' story end with you, will you?"
But before we judge these women, how about us? Don't we know this same news? Who have we told? We won't
let Jesus' story end with us, will we? Is Christ risen? Is He risen indeed? Then tell someone! And the
story will continue!