Mark 15:42- Mark 16:12 Dead and Alive

Dead and Alive

Mark 15:42-47

42 And when evening had come, since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath, 43 Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 44 Pilate was surprised to hear that he should have already died. And summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he was already dead. 45 And when he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the corpse to Joseph. 46 And Joseph bought a linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud and laid him in a tomb that had been cut out of the rock. And he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. 47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid.

This is the section of the Scripture where we see the evidence of Jesus’ death. Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for Jesus’ body. Pilate was surprised that Jesus was dead. The centurion certified the death of Jesus in verse 45. Even the women, Mary Magdalene and another Mary, knew Jesus died.

If the gospel ended here, there would be no Christianity today. There was significant evidence in history that there is a Jesus from Nazareth who died. But the story did not end there. In Mark 16, we see how this will start the birth of a movement that will change the world.

Mark 16:1

When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, 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.” And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

According to Bible scholars, Mark wrote the names of the women and the witnesses in the account because this was not a legend he was telling but a real-life account of what happened. It was Mark’s way of communicating to the readers that this was a historical account. At this time, the probability of the women still alive was high thus their names were repeatedly mentioned to collaborate the story of the resurrection.

Also in this story, we see that the disciples and the women were not expecting a resurrection. Though Jesus told them He would rise again, just the fact of somebody rising from the dead was entirely foreign to them. I myself might not believe it and would be like the disciples hiding, afraid of the persecution that might happen because the prophecies of Jesus’ resurrection might never come to pass.

I also do see myself like a doubting Thomas who needs evidence of the resurrection. I was not surprised not to see any of the disciples visiting the grave of Jesus. I had to ask myself whether I will be there to visit Jesus also.

Another interesting thing to note is how our faith hinges on the testimonies of the women, who at that time, were not considered as credible witnesses. This act was God’s way of valuing women. Imagine that the crux of Christianity lies on the what the women saw on the tomb that day. If you look further, you see that one of them, Mary Magdalene, had a colorful past where seven demons were cast out of her.

[[Now when he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with him, as they mourned and wept. 11 But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it. 12 After these things he appeared in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country. 13 And they went back and told the rest, but they did not believe them.

Sharing to you the preaching on the resurrection on Easter Sunday at our church

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