Summary: Christ had died-this they knew. However, there were three ladies who had the idea that if they could get to the tomb, early in the morning on the first day of the week, they would give Christ a proper burial, leave and be gone before anyone knew it.
SURMISED, SURPRISED, STUPEFIED
I.SURMISED: Mark 16:1-3
II.SURPRISED: Mark 15:4-7
III.STUPEFIED: Mark 16:8
The Crucifixion was completed and Jesus was laid to rest in a borrowed tomb. All was lost, so His followers thought. Regardless of how many times they were told, they could not grasp the fact that He was to die and He also was to resurrect. We can gang up on His followers all we want, but if we were in their shoes at that time, we would have been just as hard headed to grasp His teachings then as they were.
The sorrow these followers felt in their loss is beyond description. The horror they witnessed on that day of His death was beyond description. Their Friend, their Hope, their Life was now gone and they were at a loss as to what to do. It was bad enough to see Him endure the sham of a trial and then to see His suffering that followed, but the ultimate disgrace was that He was laid to rest in a tomb without being properly embalmed. The waiting for the completion of His rest was long and agonizing. Minutes seemed like hours and hours seemed like days. But at last, the time came and some dear ladies were on their way to properly wrap and spice His body for His eternal rest. We do not know how, or where or when they acquired the spices and the linen, but they had all they needed and they sat out on a mission to embalm their Friend, early on the first day of the week.
According to the Bible, the Gospel writers tell us that it was early, still dark, when these ladies set out on their mission to do what they felt they had to do. It is at this point, my sermon begins. I first note that they SURMISED some things as they walked silently through the early morning hours towards the tomb that held their Lord. Next, I note the utter and complete SURPRISE they received upon coming to the tomb. Then, I note how STUPEFIED they became as events happened, events that were completely out of their hands. I wonder what they did with the spices and the linen they brought with them that morning?
I. SURMISED: These ladies went in a hurry judging from what they later revealed about the covering over the tomb. They were in a hurry-maybe they were afraid that if they were found at the tomb, that they would be captured, tried and killed as Jesus was and maybe this was one of the reasons they came early and in haste to the tomb. What ever the reason or reasons, they surmised certain things and they were utterly fooled when they arrived at the tomb.
The first thing of which I think they SURMISED was that they would be in Seclusion as they went about their job. They were not going to a regular cemetery. They were going to Joseph’s tomb. A personal tomb, one that was near the place where He died and was located in a garden. This place was a personal, family plot and it was not in a common grave place. These ladies just thought, they supposed, that they were going to a place that was set apart from the prying eyes of others and there alone, secluded, they could go about their job of making the final burial rites for Jesus. They SURMISED something that proved to be wrong. Their supposition was misplaced; they were to find that even though it was a secluded place set in a beautiful garden near the place of death, that this tomb was going to be anything other than secluded and set apart.
I also note how they SURMISED the simple idea, that they were going to get a great deal of personal Satisfaction from doing what they had intended to do. To properly prepare the body of the Master was a consuming drive for these ladies ever since they knew that He was not properly buried. They supposed that they were going to derive a great deal of personal Satisfaction from taking care of Him whom they had helped for at least three years. No doubt, He sat at their table slept in their homes with His disciples, ate at their tables and talked with them from time to time. No doubt they bathed His feet when He entered their home and they set out clean towels for Him to dry Himself when He had taken a bath in or near their homes. They were used to looking out for Him and I think they never complained and derived a great deal of personal Satisfaction from being able to help Him. Now, they SURMISED that they would be pleased and derive a great deal of Satisfaction from helping Him one more time. This was the least they could do for Him now.