Summary: In Mark 16:1-7, we see 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"
There are many different reasons by people come to corporate worship on Easter Sunday. For some, they are dragged by their parents or spouses. Some come to have questions answered, others to just find out what the whole thing is about. There are some that come out of genuine reverence and worship while others, because of duty.
There was probably a mix these reasons why a group of 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 here today will say a lot about you. We do many things in life for many different reasons. When we gather together in God’s appointed way, 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. 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.
First: 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)
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 (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).
Mark 16:1 begins that the sabbath was ended. The ancient Israelites started their days at twilight (i.e. evenings), following Gen. 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31. However, the Romans (and Greeks) had adopted a Babylonian method of dividing the day and night into twelve divisions.
These divisions were not of equal length because of seasonal changes in the length of light/dark periods. Mark 15 uses several of these time markers (i.e. third hour, v. 25; sixth hour, v. 33; ninth hour, v. 34). This phrase in Mark 16:1 appears to refer to the ancient Israelite method and would, therefore, be 6 P.M. Friday until 6 P.M. Saturday for the Sabbath (Utley, R. J. D. (2001). Vol. Volume 2: The Gospel According to Peter: Mark and I & II Peter. Study Guide Commentary Series (202). Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International.).
All this to say that it is now Saturday after 6 P.M, since according to the Jewish reckoning of time, a day included any part of a day; thus, Friday was the first day, Saturday was the second day, and Sunday was the third day. (Barton, B. B. (1994). Mark. Life application Bible commentary (477). Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers.).
The bazaars are open again. So Mark relates that the three women who have been mentioned before (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. More remarkable is the repetition of the list, and even more so that they are the names of women. Jewish opinion of women, especially in religious matters, was not always positive (Edwards, J. R. (2002). The Gospel according to Mark. The Pillar New Testament commentary (491–492). Grand Rapids, Mich; Leicester, England: Eerdmans; Apollos.).