The Risen Saviour – Mark 15:42 – 16:8

By John Bellingham on October 16, 2016
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The Risen Saviour

Mark 15:42 -16:8

I.  An Unusual Death (15:44)

1)     Supernatural Events

  1. Three hours of darkness (v. 33)
  2. Destruction of the Temple Veil (v. 38)

2)     An Unexpected Conversion (v. 39)

3)     Amazement of Pilate (v. 44)

  1. Death by crucifixion could drag on for days, but Jesus died quickly in a few hours
  2. Pilate asked the Centurion for confirmation
    1. Jesus’ legs were not broken as was usually done to hasten death (cf. John 19:31-37)
    2. Flow of blood and water – medical confirmation of Jesus’ death


– There is no doubt that Jesus died on the cross in a remarkable way.  Skeptical theories that he somehow survived crucifixion and later revived in the tomb do not hold up to scrutiny

– The rapidity of Jesus death fulfilled multiple Old Testament prophecies, and shows Jesus to be the true Passover Lamb who takes away sin:  Psalm 34:20;  Zechariah 12:10; Numbers 9:12

II.  An Unusual Burial (15:42-47)

1)     Corpses of those crucified were often left on the cross as a public warning to others – Golgotha may have been littered with human bones and skulls

2)     Jesus is buried in the tomb of a wealthy man

  1. Joseph of Arimathea quickly and courageously asks Pilate for the body
    1. Expression of dissent against the injustice committed by the Sanhedrin
    2. Joseph and Nicodemus declare themselves to be disciples of Jesus
  2. Jesus burial in the tomb of a wealthy man is a fulfillment of prophecy (cf. Isaiah 53:9)


– The death of Jesus provoked both Joseph and Nicodemus to emerge from the shadows and declare themselves to be His Disciples.   If your Christianity is hiding in the shadows where nobody can see it, it’s time for you to go public too!   Let’s not be afraid or ashamed to declare our allegiance to Jesus Christ.

III.  An Unusual Ending (16:1-8)

1)     An Unlikely Group of Witnesses

  1. Testimony of women was considered worthless in first-century Jewish courts
  2. Traditional Orthodox prayer: “Blessed are you, Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, who has not made me a woman.”

2)     The Empty Tomb

  1. In spite of Jesus’ repeated predictions, the resurrection came as a total shock to everyone!
  2. Emphasis on God’s activity in rolling the stone away and raising Jesus from the dead

3)   Mark’s Abrupt Ending – v. 8

  1. Verses 9-20 constitute a non-inspired, second-century addition that is not original to Mark
    1. Verses 9-20 are missing from the earliest and most reliable Greek manuscripts
    2. Content and style of vv. 9-20 is not consistent with the rest of Mark’s Gospel
    3. Odd teaching about snakes and poison
  2. Possible explanations for Mark’s abrupt ending:
    1. Mark was martyred before he could finish
    2. The original papyrus scroll was damaged and Mark’s original ending was lost
    3. Mark intended to end this way  (Best view)


– Christianity stands or falls on the Resurrection

– Testimony of women is a strong supporting argument that Jesus’ resurrection is historical fact, not fabrication

– Does God’s saving work through the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ leave you in awe and reverent fear?   Will you be silent or will you tell others?



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