Lenten Season: Resurrection Sunday – He Has Risen!

That Sunday morning changed the lives not just of three women but the whole world – the Resurrection Sunday to be remembered and celebrated for centuries to come. Early in the morning, two angels announced that no one was ready to believe in: He has risen; He is not here, said the young man that was sitting on the right side of the tomb. See the place where they laid him, – he added at once (Mark 16:5-6).

Weekly Insight Bible Reading

Finally, in this weekly insight, we will look at the concluding event in the Gospel according to Mark – The Resurrection. Therefore, I would encourage you to read Mark 16 beforehand. Please, take your time to study these chapters by yourself, with your family or study group.

Also, you might be interested in what was the last week. Please, check our previous weekly insight – Lenten Season: Crucifixion – The Way Of The King – Mark 16.

The women’s arrival at the tomb on Resurrection Sunday

The Sabbath (Nisan 16) was over, and the new day, Sunday (Nisan 17), began. And early in the morning, when the darkness was still upon the face of the earth, three women were already awake, namely Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome. They got up very early in the morning to come and anoint Jesus with aromatic oils that they bought in advance (Mark 16:1-2).

Certainly, the women did not expect Jesus to rise from the dead (Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:34). Moreover, they were more concerned about the rock that soldiers rolled to cover the tomb because they did not have any man accompanying them to help with that rock. However, it would probably require decent manpower to move the boulder (Mark 16:3).

So, when the women came to the tomb, they saw that the stone was rolled away (Mark 16:4). Mark, however, has no record of the event that precedes the removal of the boulder on that resurrection Sunday. Only Matthew 28:2-4 has the record of the great earthquake when the angel of the Lord descended from heaven and rolled back the stone from the door that covered the tomb. Furthermore, when the guards saw this happening before their own eyes, they fainted and became as dead men.

Question to ponder:

Do you remember the moment when you first heard the Gospel? What was your reaction? Did you believe with your heart and mind?

The Resurrection – the Good News to tell the world about

Thereby, these women, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome, were the first people who received the Good News of Jesus Christ’s resurrection. He has risen, the angel said to the women. Additionally, the angel of the Lord gave them a task. He told them to go and tell Jesus’ disciples that they would be reunited with Him in Galilee. Their response was similar to Peter’s at the transfiguration (Mark 9:6). The object of their fear was the awesome disclosure of God’s presence and power in raising Jesus from the dead. Thus, overwhelmed with reverential fear and reduced to silence, the women fled from the tomb 15 to share the Good News of the Resurrection (Mark 16:7-8).

Question to ponder:

Knowing that Jesus died for sinners, but today He is alive, how can this give us hope no matter what evil we face?

The Resurrection Sunday: Jesus’ Appearance, Commission and Ascension

Some scholars believe that Mark 16:9-20 was not originally part of the Gospel according to Mark because those verses are missing from two old Greek manuscripts and some ancient translations. Also, they say that the abrupt ending is consistent with Mark’s style and punctuates his development of the themes of fear and astonishment throughout the Gospel. However, the overwhelming majority of Greek manuscripts contain verses nine through twenty. Moreover, church fathers as early as the second century AD bear witness to them as Scripture 12, 15.

Jesus’ Appearance after the Resurrection

To believe something we always check a source of information for credibility and the news itself for plausibility. Thus, the news about the resurrection of Jesus Christ from Mary Magdalene was not credible and very implausible. On the other hand, however, this is the problem of unbelief and hardness of heart.

Women were not a reliable source of information in those times. Moreover, Mary Magdalene had a reputation of a wretched woman. She is the one from whom Jesus’ cast out seven demons (Luke 8:2). After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to Mary first to empower her to share the Good News with the eleven, who, at that moment, were mourning and weeping for crucified Jesus (Mark 16:9-10). Afore His appearance before the eleven, Jesus wanted them to accept the Gospel by faith, with their hearts but not intellectually. And that was Jesus’ tactic throughout His ministry to reach out to people.

So, Mary did as the Lord has told her. On hearing that Jesus was alive and had been seen by Mary, the disciples refused to believe. Neither believed they the other two of them, to whom Jesus appeared while they were out walking from Jerusalem into the country (Mark 16:11-13).

Jesus’ Appearance to the Eleven and His rebuke of their Unbelief

Afterward, on the evening of the same day, Jesus appeared to the eleven while they sat eating. He upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart because they believed not them which had seen Him after He was risen (Mark 16:14).

The lack of spiritual perception arising from hostility to God in the heart is a theme running throughout Mark (Mark 3:5; 4:12; 6:52; 7:6, 21; 8:17, 33; 10:5). It warns the reader not to rest in head knowledge of the Gospel but to seek the illumination of the Holy Spirit to produce heart knowledge, even after conversion (Psalm 119:18, 36; Eph. 1:17-18) 12.

Apparently, Jesus wanted them to learn what it is like to believe the testimony of eyewitnesses. This would be necessary for all those to whom they would preach in their coming missionary outreach 15.

Jesus’ Commission to His followers and Ascension

Later, the risen Lord Jesus commissioned His apostles to publicly proclaim the Good News of the Son of God and what He had done (Matt. 28:18-20; Luke 24:45-49; Acts 1:5-8) 12. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned (Mark 16:15-16). The baptism of verse 16 is generally understood as baptism into, or with water. But this is an instance of Christ’s usage of figurative language. This “baptism” must be that of John 3:5 and Titus 3:5, i.e., the inward renewing baptism of the Holy Spirit without which an intellectual belief in Christ is valueless 6.

The physical signs of Mark 16:17-18 were necessary at the beginning as demonstrating the grace that went beyond the narrow bounds of the Hebrew Church and flowed out to all the world through that Church. Hence at that time the meaning and value of speaking with tongues. This gift, and that of others, belong, therefore, to the childhood of the Gospel, and were temporary (1 Cor. 13:8-11) 6.

In Mark 16:19-20, he concludes the Gospel with Christ’s physical ascension into God’s presence (Acts 1:9-11). Now, the promise is fulfilled, and the kingdom is begun (Psalm 110:1; Mark 12:36; 14:62). Moreover, the Lord Jesus Christ continued His ministry through the preaching of His followers and by confirming their message with miracles (Heb. 2:3-4), as the book of Acts shows 12.

Question to ponder:

Jesus’ final commandment to His followers was to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ to every creature. How are you and your church engaged in reaching the world with the Gospel?

Insights

  1. Jesus Christ died for sinners and rose from the dead on the 3rd day.
  2. The full payment for your sins has been made with the price of Jesus’ precious blood.
  3. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned (Mark 16:16).
  4. The Lord Jesus commissioned you to preach the risen Christ and what He had done for your redemption and salvation.
  5. Christ physically ascended into God’s presence and sat on the right hand of God (Mark 16:19). Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come (Revelation 4:8).

If you have not yet accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, why not now!? Please, do not wait until it is too late! Embrace God’s Grace, Mercy and Love now – Accept Jesus Now!

Prayer

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer: Matthew 6:9-13

Useful Study Materials:

  1. The Henry Morris Study Bible – KJV
  2. The Matthew Henry Study Bible – KJV
  3. The MacArthur Study Bible – ESV
  4. ESV Study Bible
  5. Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible KJV
  6. The Complete Bible Commentary – George Williams
  7. The Moody Bible Commentary – a one-volume commentary
  8. Studies in the Sermon on the Mount by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  9. NASB Zondervan Study Bible
  10. Chronological Life Application Study Bible – NLT
  11. Rose Book of Bible Charts, Maps, and Time Lines
  12. The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible
  13. Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary
  14. The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures by Dallas Seminary Faculty [Old Testament Edition]
  15. The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures by Dallas Seminary Faculty [New Testament Edition]

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