Resurrection: A Theology of Hope
Mark 16:1-7. "Resurrection: A Theology of Hope" Save Haven Worship Centre. Resurrection Sunday. April 12th, 2020 Mark 16:1-7 [16:1] When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him.  And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb.  And they were saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?"  And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back--it was very large.  And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed.  And he said to them, "Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him.  But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you." (ESV) There are many different reasons why you may have tuned in to this online worship service today. For some, they were basically told to by their parents or spouses. Some tuned in because to have questions answered, others to just find out what the whole thing is about. There are some that are watching out of genuine reverence and worship of God while others, because of duty. There was probably a mix these reasons why a group of three women set out early on that first Resurrection Sunday to see Jesus. Not really understanding what was going on, they set out with anointing items expecting to see their dead leader. Beyond the fear and withdrawal of Jesus' other followers, these women in a sense of duty and love came to see Jesus one last time. Your reason to be participating in this today will say a lot about you. We do many things in life for many different reasons. When we worship together we begin to see life from a different perspective. We come with burdens and praises. We come with questions and reflections on truth. When we come to meet Jesus together, the events of our lives from the triumphs to the tragedies begin to unfold with greater clarity. God the Father's Resurrection of God the Son is a message of hope. Although suffering and death seem like defeat, Christ triumphed over the grave, providing the one and only sufficient sacrifice for sin shown acceptable by the Father raising His Son from the dead. We who place our faith in a resurrected savior, have hope of not only God's providential control in this life, but assurance of life eternal. In Mark 16:1-7, we see the two elements of 1) The Grief (Mark 16:1–3) and 2) The Glory (Mark 16:4–7) of God the Father's Resurrection of God the Son bringing "A Theology of Hope" The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is "A Theology of Hope" as first seen through: 1) The Grief (Mark 16:1–3) Mark 16:1-3 [16:1] When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him.  And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb.  And they were saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?" (ESV) Mark 16:1 begins that the sabbath was over. The Jews marked their days at sundown rather than midnight, so the Sabbath ended on Saturday evening around 6:00 p.m. But Mark’s statement, that it was past/over, does much more than simply convey the timing of Jesus’ resurrection (cf. Mark 16:2). It also stands as a theological marker indicating that the Sabbath itself was now obsolete because a new era of redemptive history had begun. No Sabbath observance has been divinely authorized or mandated since the resurrection (cf. Col. 2:16–17). Like the Passover, which ended when Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper as the new memorial feast commemorating His death (Mark 14:22–25), the Sabbath was replaced by the Lord’s Day to commemorate His resurrection every first day of the week (cf. Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2; Rev. 1:10). (MacArthur, J. (2015). Mark 9–16 (p. 398). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.) For Orthodox Jews, from sunset on Friday to sunset on Saturday, the second of the three days, there is no movement and activity at all. Jesus’ body rests in the tomb, and the survivors are—the reader presumes—keeping the sabbath. Readers unfamiliar with the Jewish belief that the spirit does not leave the body completely until after three days, are aware that with the third day drawing near the story is building up to a dramatic climax. Both readers and disciples have heard Jesus say that three days after being killed he will rise again (Mk. 8:31; 9:31; 10:34), and also that after his resurrection he will again go ahead of the disciples in Galilee (14:28) (van Iersel, B. M. F. (2004). Vol. 164: Mark: A reader-response commentary. Journal for the Study of the New Testament. (493). London; New York: T&T Clark). The bazaars are open again. So Mark relates that the three women who have been mentioned before (Mk.15:40), and two of whom were mentioned in the preceding verses (15:47), purchased spices in order that without any further delay they might go to the tomb the very next morning to anoint Jesus’ body. For the third time Mark lists the names of the women attending the cross, burial, and empty tomb of Jesus (15:40, 47; 16:1). The listing of proper names — so unusual for Mark — certifies on the basis of eyewitnesses the veracity of the events described. The presence of women’s names here attests to the veracity of the resurrection narrative, for had early Christians fabricated the resurrection story, the testimony of women (in all four Gospels!) was no way to go about it... The witness here of Mary the mother of James, Salome, and especially Mary Magdalene (v. 1), whose name heads the resurrection witnesses in all four Gospels, endows the resurrection narratives with the highest degree of probability. Unless women were actually present at the tomb, the early church would scarcely have placed them there since Judaism did not accept the testimony of women. The testimony of women is, however, entirely “in character” with the divine economy: those whose testimony is discounted in human society are the first to be included in the divine society (1 Cor 1:26–28) (Edwards, J. R. (2002). The Gospel according to Mark. The Pillar New Testament commentary (491–492). Grand Rapids, Mich; Leicester, England: Eerdmans; Apollos.) • What is so clear for the description of these events is the regard for both men and women in God’s kingdom. Women by no means are second class to God. The resurrection is not just a message for elites, but for everyone. God used what is commonly disregarded by society to proclaim His glories. You are not secondary in God’s kingdom. Be you rich or poor, man or woman, child or teenager, God will use a surrendered heart to Him to do great things. Please turn back to Mark 14 Luke has the most complete listing of the women who went out to the tomb: “Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them” (Luke 24:10). Matthew mentions only the same two Marys. Mark adds the name of Salome. And John mentions only Mary Magdalene. Each writer selects only those whom he wishes to name as representative of all participating or playing a prominent part in the event. (Franzmann, W. H. (1989). Bible History Commentary: New Testment (972). Milwaukee, WI: Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.). As to why the women came: Jesus did not need His body to be anointed, for this already happened: Mark 14:3-9 And while he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head.  There were some who said to themselves indignantly, "Why was the ointment wasted like that?  For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor." And they scolded her.  But Jesus said, "Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me.  For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me.  She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial.  And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her." (ESV) Back in the tomb, it is true that Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus had already wound linen bandages around the body, strewing in a mixture of myrrh and aloes. But the dead body had not as yet been anointed. The living body had been anointed (Mk. 14:3–9) but not the dead one. Besides, a week had gone by since that other anointing had taken place. Unlike the Egyptians, the Jewish people did not embalm their dead. Anointing was an act of love, to offset the stench of a decaying body. That the women came to anoint Jesus’ body on the third day after His burial showed that they, like the disciples, were not expecting Him to rise from the dead (cf. 8:31; 9:31; 10:34) (MacArthur, J. J. (1997). The MacArthur Study Bible (electronic ed.) (Mk 16:1). Nashville: Word Pub). They were evidently afraid in Mark 16:2 that decomposition would take place if they should wait any longer. As to the time when these women came: Mark says “when the sun was risen,” Matthew notes that is was “at dawn” (Mt. 28:1), Luke “at early dawn,” and John “while it was still dark.” Therefore, although it was still dark when the women started out, the sun had risen when they arrived at the tomb. It is true that these women should have paid more attention to the Lord’s repeated prediction that he would rise again on the third day. On the other hand, while we may criticize their lack of sufficient faith—a lack which they shared with the male disciples—let us not overlook their exceptional love and loyalty. They were at Calvary when Jesus died, in Joseph’s garden when their Master was buried, and now very early in the morning, here they are once more, in order to anoint the body. Meanwhile, where were the eleven? • How we live our lives, shows how we regard the resurrected Christ. Are we like the eleven other Apostles succumb to fear in the face of difficulty, or do we continue to trust Christ, even when everything seems to be in chaos and to be lost? On the way toward the tomb, Mark 16:3 notes that the women became worried about the huge stone in front of the tomb’s entrance. They asked each other, “Who will roll it away for us?” This is an IMPERFECT TENSE. They kept worrying about and asking each other over and over again as they walked to the tomb (Utley, R. J. D. (2001). Vol. Volume 2: The Gospel According to Peter: Mark and I & II Peter. Study Guide Commentary Series (204). Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International.). The interesting item about the alarm of the women is found only in Mark’s Gospel. Since they had last visited the tomb on Friday evening, they did not know it had been sealed and a guard posted, which took place on Saturday (Matt. 27:62–66) (MacArthur, J. J. (1997). The MacArthur Study Bible (electronic ed.) (Mk 16:3). Nashville: Word Pub.). The stones used to seal the openings to tombs were anywhere from five to six feet in diameter with varying thickness. An average stone weighed hundreds of pounds. Although some of these stones rolled along a flat channel, they usually leaned against the outer wall of the tomb itself, thus creating a great deal of friction. The three women assume that they do not possess the size and strength to roll the stone aside. They wonder who might do it for them. Because of the early hour, the women likely assume that no one will be available to assist them (Evans, C. A. (2002). Vol. 34B: Word Biblical Commentary : Mark 8:27-16:20. Word Biblical Commentary (535). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.). • There are often obstacles that seem insurmountable from where we are on the path of life. Faith is trusting in God that He will be faithful to His word and bring about His holy will. Our job is to be faithful, obedient and leave the rest to Him. Poem: Annie Johnson Flint wrote of these events in a poem entitled: "The Way of the Cross". “Some of us stay at the cross, Some of us wait at the tomb, Quickened and raised with Christ Yet lingering still in the gloom. Some of us ‘bide at the Passover feast With Pentecost all unknown, The triumphs of grace in the heavenly place That our Lord has made His own. If the Christ who died had stopped at the cross, His work had been incomplete. If the Christ who was buried had stayed in the tomb, He had only known defeat, But the way of the cross never stops at the cross And the way of the tomb leads on To victorious grace in the heavenly place Where the risen Lord has gone”. (Galaxie Software. (2002; 2002). 10,000 Sermon Illustrations. Biblical Studies Press.) Finally, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is "A Theology of Hope" as seen through: 2) The Glory (Mark 16:4–7) of God the Father's Resurrection of God the Son Mark 16:4-7  And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back--it was very large.  And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed.  And he said to them, "Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him.  But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you." (ESV) Mark 16:4 begins that the women changed their gaze to now looking up. Apparently, they were very downcast, looking at the ground in mourning (Utley, R. J. D. (2001). Vol. Volume 2: The Gospel According to Peter: Mark and I & II Peter. Study Guide Commentary Series (204). Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International.). Please turn to Matthew 28 The very first thing to do in trial is to take our eyes off ourselves and the ground of our troubles and look up to God, His comfort and guidance. In Mark 16:4, we see that suddenly the women saw—probably at a turn in the path—that the heavy stone had already been removed. What had taken place? Matthew, by divine inspiration, supplies the answer: Matthew 28:1-10 Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2 And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4 And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. 5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” 8 So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.” (ESV) • The earthquake when the angel rolled away the stone (Matt. 28:2) may have affected only the area around the tomb, since the women apparently did not feel it (MacArthur, J. J. (1997). The MacArthur Study Bible (electronic ed.) (Mk 16:4). Nashville: Word Pub.). Why did the angel have to remove the stone? as noted in Mark 16:5? The reason was not to enable Jesus to make his way out. Possessing the same body that He does at this point, John noted: John 20:19, 26 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." (ESV)  Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." (ESV) • The stone was rolled back to enable these women, and also Peter and John, to enter the tomb. Inside the large opening in the façade of the tomb was an antechamber, at the back of which a rectangular doorway about two feet high led inside. Small low doorways between the antechamber and the burial chamber were standard features of Jewish tombs in this period. The inner chamber where the body had been laid was perhaps six or seven feet square, and about the same height. (Lane, W. L. (1974). The Gospel of Mark. The New International Commentary on the New Testament (586). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.) (John) says it was necessary to stoop (παρακύπτειν) to see into the tomb (John 20:5). This is because the opening of a rock-cut tomb was normally about one meter square; one could not enter such a tomb without stooping. Hence a stone of about four feet in diameter was sufficient to cover the opening. Only when the women actually enter the tomb through its small opening will they be able to see what or who is inside (Evans, C. A. (2002). Vol. 34B: Word Biblical Commentary : Mark 8:27-16:20. Word Biblical Commentary (535). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.). By the time the women had reached the tomb, the “angel” (as Matthew describes him) had entered the tomb. Here in Mark the angel is called “a young man ...dressed in a white robe.” Compare this with Matthew’s description “his garment white as snow.” It is clear that Matthew and Mark are describing the same heavenly being. Luke and John that have two angels while Mark and Matthew only have one. Most likely Mark and Matthew are highlighting that this was the angel that spoke (Utley, R. J. D. (2001). Vol. Volume 2: The Gospel According to Peter: Mark and I & II Peter. Study Guide Commentary Series (205). Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International.). The fact is that angels appear to humans in human form, so that an angel can also be called a man, and is even able to express himself in human language (Gen. 18:2, 16; 19:1 f.; Judg. 6:12 f.; 13:3, 6; Ezek, 9:2)… In the color symbolism of the NT, white is primarily the heavenly color and is mentioned almost exclusively in eschatological or apocalyptic contexts. In this instance the white clothes are not properly a description, but an indication of the dazzling character of their glory (cf. Ch. 9:3; Rev. 6:11; 7:9, 13). The presence of the angel underscores the eschatological character of the resurrection of Jesus and anticipates the parousia when the Son of Man will come in “the glory of the Father with the holy angels” (Ch. 8:38; cf. Ch. 13:26f.) With the stone rolled away, the appearance of the inside of the tomb (in this connection see also John 20:6, 7), and the presence of “the young man” or “angel” caused the women to be “alarmed” or “greatly amazed” is understandable. (Lane, W. L. (1974). The Gospel of Mark. The New International Commentary on the New Testament (587). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.) • The great tragedy in hearing the reality of the resurrection year after year is the danger that it might become "old news" to some. The amazement comes in comprehending more and more of the totality of the story year after year. As we look deeper and deeper into the facts of the resurrection, we should get a broader picture of what God did, relating more and more historical and biblical facts together. In meditating and appreciating this to a greater and greater degree, should result in greater amazement and praise. “Do not be alarmed,” says the angel (young man) to the women in Mark 16:6. This is a PRESENT IMPERATIVE with the NEGATIVE PARTICLE, which usually means to stop an act already in process (Utley, R. J. D. (2001). Vol. Volume 2: The Gospel According to Peter: Mark and I & II Peter. Study Guide Commentary Series (205). Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International.) What he means is, “Stop doing what you are doing, and instead rejoice, for this is a day of cheer.” The alarm and distress of the women also argue against a hallucination, for not only are group hallucinations virtually nonexistent, but the announcement of the angel entirely contradicts what the women expect. The position of the angel “on the right side” of the tomb, a detail without apparent significance, is not the kind of thing a fabricator would include and hence witnesses in favor of a historical remembrance. (Edwards, J. R. (2002). The Gospel according to Mark. The Pillar New Testament commentary (493). Grand Rapids, Mich; Leicester, England: Eerdmans; Apollos.). • It may seem inappropriate to celebrate the resurrection of Christ as we are a church in exile. But it is only because of the resurrection of Christ that we can be commanded “Do not be alarmed”. The uncertainty of the age cannot overcome someone who’s life has been changed because of the resurrection. Christ had triumphed over COVID-19. Even death itself is not the end of the story. Because of the resurrection, Christ has triumphed over the grave. Because He is risen the promise of the resurrection is that those who trust in Him with rise as well (1 Cor. 15). The Angel says specifically: “You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth/the Nazarene.” The inspired account leaves no doubt about who had been in the tomb. The idea of some unbelievers that the women went to the wrong tomb is ludicrous (MacArthur, J. J. (1997). The MacArthur Study Bible (electronic ed.) (Mk 16:6). Nashville: Word Pub.). Yes, Jesus was indeed "of Nazareth/the Nazarene,” the One who had spent most of his earthly life in Nazareth and voluntarily humbled Himself unto death, even death upon a cross. But now “He has/is risen.” God raised Jesus from the dead. The Resurrection was not an act of Jesus’ power, but a vindication of Jesus’ divinity (Barton, B. B. (1994). Mark. Life application Bible commentary (478). Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers.). This is confirmation of the Father’s acceptance of the Son’s substitutionary death (cf. I Cor. 15). Theologically, all three persons of the Trinity were active in Christ’s resurrection: the Father (Acts 2:24; 3:15; 4:10; 5:30; 10:40; 13:30, 33, 34; 17:31); the Spirit (Rom. 8:11); and the Son (John 2:19–22; 10:17–18) (Utley, R. J. D. (2001). Vol. Volume 2: The Gospel According to Peter: Mark and I & II Peter. Study Guide Commentary Series (205). Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International.). The announcement of the angel is literally the gospel, good news, and the place from which the gospel is first preached is the empty tomb that both received and gave up the Crucified One. (Jesus) “was raised” rightly implies that he was resurrected by God. At this moment and in this place the women are witnessing “the kingdom of God come with power” (9:1) (Edwards, J. R. (2002). The Gospel according to Mark. The Pillar New Testament commentary (494). Grand Rapids, Mich; Leicester, England: Eerdmans; Apollos.). The concept of the empty tomb, however, is especially useful as a symbol that death has been emptied of its power by the risen Christ. ( Brooks, J. A. (1991). Mark (Vol. 23, p. 270). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.) To reassure the women who can hardly believe what they are seeing, the angel tenderly adds, “He is not here. See/Look, here is the place where they laid him.” In Mark, the word translated “looking for” (Gk zētein) occurs ten times, all in pejorative contexts of imposing constraints on Jesus (see on the term at 1:37). It appears to have a similar meaning here, and the response of the angel can be taken as a mild rebuke. The women, intent on their funereal errand, are preoccupied with death. They endeavor with their spices and anxieties to bring some kind of closure, however inadequate, to a tragic drama. But all their preparations leave them unprepared for the reality they encounter; what they intend to be a terminal visit is but a commencement. The Jesus they are “looking for” enshrined in a safe place cannot be found. The visit to the tomb is vintage Markan irony: the living are consumed with death, but the Crucified One is consumed with life (Edwards, J. R. (2002). The Gospel according to Mark. The Pillar New Testament commentary (494). Grand Rapids, Mich; Leicester, England: Eerdmans; Apollos). • A contemporary analogy could be the irony of being so consumed with making a living that we fail to have a life. Even in our prayer, study and remembrance we tend to spend the majority of our time at the cross, but Christianity is about a risen savoir who continues to intercede for His saints. Even in our age, let us get our eyes off the news of death and rejoice in the Lord of life. The place where they laid him, inside the huge tomb, is empty. This the women can see very well, for they have entered the tomb. Not only do they see how empty is this (tomb) but also how neatly arranged is everything around it: John records that “the linen cloths that had been wrapped around Jesus’ body were left as if Jesus had passed right through them. The handkerchief was still rolled up in the shape of a head, and it was at about the right distance from the wrappings that had enveloped Jesus’ body” (John 20:6–7). A grave robber couldn’t possibly have made off with Jesus’ body and left the linens as if they were still shaped around it. The best explanation was that Jesus had risen from the dead, just as he had said he would (Barton, B. B. (1994). Mark. Life application Bible commentary (478). Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers.). Christ’s resurrection is the central truths of the Christian faith (1 Cor. 15:4) and the only plausible explanation for the empty tomb. Even the Jewish leaders did not deny the reality of the empty tomb but concocted the story that the disciples had stolen Jesus’ body (Matt. 28:11–15). The idea that the fearful (John 19:19), doubting (vv. 11, 13; Luke 24:10, 11) disciples somehow overpowered the Roman guard detachment and stole Jesus’ body is absurd. That they did it while the guards were asleep is even more preposterous. Surely, in moving the heavy stone from the mouth of the tomb, the disciples would have awakened at least one of the soldiers. And in any case, how could the guards have known what happened while they were asleep? Many other theories have been sinfully invented over the centuries to explain away the empty tomb, all of them equally futile (MacArthur, J. J. (1997). The MacArthur Study Bible (electronic ed.) (Mk 16:6). Nashville: Word Pub.). The angel finally directs the women in Mark 16:7  But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you." It is asked why the Eleven were informed in this way, through the women; why angels did not appear to them, or perhaps Jesus himself. (There are many possible reasons, including:) 1) God chooses the weak; overwhelmed most by their sorrow, they are to be first in joy; 2) the presence of the women at the tomb silences the Jewish falsehood that the disciples stole the body; 3) as death came by woman, so salvation and life are to be announced by her; 4) God wanted to reward woman’s active love. The women alone went to the tomb on Sunday morning, the women, none of the men, not even John. Thus, they were honored by being made the messengers to the men. The love of these women receives its fitting reward (Lenski, R. C. H. (1961). The Interpretation of St. Mark's Gospel (746). Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Publishing House.). The women are told to go to “his disciples,” even though in the hour of bitter trial they had all left him and fled. Also note “and Peter,” and this in spite of those terrible denials, accompanied at times by curses. Peter was not singled out as the leader of the disciples, but to be reassured that, despite his denials of Christ, he was still one of them (MacArthur, J. J. (1997). The MacArthur Study Bible (electronic ed.) (Mk 16:7). Nashville: Word Pub.) • Perhaps you are watching this today and all you can think about is your past failures and that you are not worthy of eternal life. None of us are. It is because of our sin that Christ had to die. But the wonderful message of the resurrection is that God accepted Christ's payment for the sins of His people by raising Christ from the dead. For those who repent of their sin there is healing and acceptance form God, even today. The Angel told the woman that Jesus is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you." Jesus had prearranged a meeting with His disciples in Galilee after His resurrection. The disciples did not clearly understand the theological implications of this event (cf. 14:28; Matt. 28:32; 28:7, 10; John 21; I Cor. 15:6). Many believe this was the time and place of the Great Commission (Utley, R. J. D. (2001). Vol. Volume 2: The Gospel According to Peter: Mark and I & II Peter. Study Guide Commentary Series (205). Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International.). According to v. 7, the task of the women is both specific and limited. They are to go and proclaim the (news of the resurrection) to a specific audience, the disciples and Peter (Witherington III, B. (2001). The Gospel of Mark: A socio-rhetorical commentary (414). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.) • The Great Commission can often be intimidating that there are just so many to reach. But our job is not to reach everyone, everywhere, all at once. Our job is to share the truth of the resurrection with one person, at one place, at one time. Jesus has gone ahead of this message today to prepare hearts. There is a hope that is central to this message of resurrection. We no longer have to die in trespasses and sins. We have paricipated this morning either out of duty, delight or devotion. For those who repent of sin, put their faith in this resurrected savior, they are promised life eternal. If you have not done this, make this moment an eternal turning point in your life and put your life in the hands of this resurrected savior. We are like this first group of visitors to the tomb. Jesus is going on ahead of us to prepare other hearts, all he wants us to do is be faithful to His direct calling and share the historic reality of His resurrection. How valuable is this hope? Will you be faithful to share it with someone you know who needs hope? Jesus is going on ahead right now to prepare their heart. There is no greater time than now. (Format note: Some base commentary from Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953-2001). Vol. 10: New Testament commentary : Exposition of the Gospel According to Mark. New Testament Commentary (676–682). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House). Closing Hymn - Christ Arose! (3v) Benediction (based on Romans 6:10, Hebrews 13:20) May the God of peace, who raised from the dead our Lord Jesus, provide us with every good thing we need in order to do his will; and the blessing of almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be with us now and forever. Live in peace, as witnesses of the risen Lord. In the name of Christ. Amen.