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Mark 16:1-8 - Χριστός ανέστη εκ νεκρών
It was Mary Magdelene and Mary the mother of Jesus that witnessed the burial [15:47] and the same two women that will be the first witnesses of the resurrection! This is a new type of kingdom!
1 And when the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome purchased fragrant spices so that they could go and anoint him.
As faithful Jews the women would not have purchased spice or a touched the body on the Sabbath. In contrast, the leaders of the Jews had met on a sabbath, the eve of Passover, to condemn Jesus through lies and deceit to death.
2 And very early in the morning on the first day of the week they came to the tomb after the sun had risen.
- . Have you thought about the other name days in Greek?
3 And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?”
Mark really strips the account down, as is typical of Mark. Other details are provided in the other gospels for those further in time from this day. The stone is large [v4], it would have been very difficult to move and impossible for these women. The tomb was sealed tight to prevent anyone tampering with the body.
4 And when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away (for it was very large).
Why does Mark mention the stone?
5 And as they were going into the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.
What does a “white robe” and the women’s alarm suggest [see Matthew 28:2]
The birth of Jesus was announced to Mary by and angel and now, a second time, and angel announced the resurrection of her son….
6 But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene who was crucified. He has been raised, he is not here! See the place where they laid him! 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you.”
Jesus had already told the disciples that he would go ahead to Galilee [14:28]. Nazareth is in northern Israel, the “less pure” Jews lived there brushing shoulders with gentiles. Galilee is also in the north. This is where the disciples were called and where they will return to meet the risen Messiah.
Why does the angel expressly tell them to inform Peter?
What about Jerusalem? Surely, the Messiah will rule from Zion? What is happening?
8 And they went out and fled from the tomb, because trembling and amazement had seized them. And they said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.
Encounters with angels are usually terrifying. Why?
The Shorter Ending of Mark
⟦So they promptly reported all the things they had been commanded to those around Peter. And after these things, Jesus himself also sent out through them from the east even as far as the west the holy and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation. Amen.⟧
The end of the Mark’s gospel seems abrupt. Scribes would later add endings, likely based on oral traditions. Some MSS traditions have the shorter ending above, some have the longer one below and some have both.
What is the difficulty in accepting either ending when we read v8b?
The shift of the day of worship from the Sabbath to Κυριακή will occur ever the coming decades during the next decades.
Douglas Mangum, ed., Lexham Context Commentary: New Testament, Lexham Context Commentary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2020), Mk 16:1–8.
Again, quoting Mangum, this “probably is not intended to exclude Peter from the disciples, but rather to ensure that Peter gets the message. God is hunting down the miserable Peter (14:72), because he wants to have mercy on him.” Douglas Mangum, ed., Lexham Context Commentary: New Testament, Lexham Context Commentary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2020), Mk 16:1–8.
The Gospel of Mark ends at this point in some manuscripts, including two of the most important ones, while other manuscripts supply a shorter ending (sometimes included as part of v. 8), others supply the traditional longer ending (vv. 9–20), and still other manuscripts supply both the shorter ending and vv. 9–20; due to significant questions about the authenticity of these alternative endings, many scholars regard 16:8 as the last verse of the Gospel of Mark.
Heavenly being are holy. We are not. Holiness is something good, very good, but dangerous to sinful adam.