Summary: Twelth in a 12 part series examining THE most important week in all of history: The Passion Week, when Jesus fulfilled Mark 10:45. The Servant Finishes - His Resurrection carries a ministry of love, a message of life & a mission of liberation.
The Passion Week of Christ: A Study from the Book of Mark
Week 12: The Servant Finishes - His Resurrection
A. Last time we met, we looked at Joseph of Arimathea's wonderful act of love and mercy in preparing our Lord's body for burial, even using his own tomb in which to bury Jesus. It's been said that someone pulled him aside and said, "Joseph, that was such a beautiful, costly, hand-hewn tomb. Why on earth did you give it to someone else to be buried in?" Joseph just smiled and said. "Why not? He only needed it for the weekend." Amen, Hallelujah, Praise the Lord, Jesus only needed that tomb for the weekend. HE IS RISEN!!! And so after 12 weeks of exploring The Passion Week, our Lord's last week on earth when He gave His life as a ransom for many, we come to Sunday! We come to the day that as we sang earlier "He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!"
B. Now...Here's the challenge - believe it and live it! N.T. Wright has said, "Our task in the present…is to live as resurrection people in between Easter and the final day, with our Christian life, corporate and individual, in both worship and mission, as a sign of the first and a foretaste of the second.” And so my goal this AM is that if you are here and you are not saved, that you will encounter the risen Lord Jesus; for there is no other name given under heaven by which men must be saved. May today be your day of salvation! And so my goal for those who are here who are saved is that you would be challenged to live as resurrection people between now and the final day. It's high time for God's people to truly walk in newness of life.
C. So come with me to that gloriously empty tomb this AM, see for yourself that He Is Risen. And as we do we will explore a Ministry of Love, a Message of Life, and a Mission of Liberation.
II. Scripture Reading & Prayer
A. Stand with me to honor the reading of God's Word. Read Mark 16:1-8.
B. Pray - Father, the fact that Jesus is risen ought to make us want to run through the streets of Tipton County screaming and shouting just that! Draw everyone in this church this AM to yourself that none may leave without the salvation your Son has provided and that we all may leave convicted to truly live as resurrection people.
III. He Is Risen: A Ministry of Love (Mark 16:1-3)
A. Mark begins by telling us of three women who went to the tomb that Sunday AM, Mary Magdalene...Mary the mother of James and Salome:
1) Mary Magdalene - from whom Jesus cast out seven demons; usually named first when the women who followed Jesus are listed and thus she could have been the leader. 2) Mary the mother of James - James the younger, son of Alphaeus, one of the Twelve. 3) Salome - the wife of Zebedee, mother to James and John (the Sons of Thunder); she had asked Jesus for her sons to sit at his right and left hand in His kingdom.
B. Luke tells us that having observed the tomb and having seen where Jesus was placed on Friday, they returned and prepared spices and perfumes. He then tells us that they rested on the Sabbath (Saturday) according to the commandment. Mark goes on to say that when the Sabbath was past, these women resumed their ministry to our Lord. It was a ministry of love. Before we go on, let me just say, don't you know that was the longest, most agonizing Sabbath of these women's lives? Finally they could do something! Notice...
1st Their Deed: bought spices This was in addition to those prepared earlier. Joseph & Nicodemus had already wrapped His body in 75# of myrrh and aloe...why more? They were women from Galilee and Joseph & Nic were from Judea, so they were unfamiliar with them. Further, both men were of the Sanhedrin whom had condemned Jesus, so could they trust them? The most significant thing to note is having bought spices they expected to find a corpse!
2nd Their Desire: might go and anoint him Unlike the Egyptians, the Jews didn't embalm, they anointed. And anointing was an act of love that offset the stench of the decaying body. Again, coming to anoint Jesus' body three days after His burial once again shows that they expected to find a corpse.
3rd Their Devotion: very early...when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. Apparently these women left their home while it was still dark, having gotten up very early to minister to our Lord's body. John in fact says it was still dark when Mary Magdalene arrived at the tomb - perhaps she had gone on ahead of the other women. One wonders, could they even sleep Saturday night as they anxiously awaited going to Jesus' tomb. Either way they were devoted! Discuss deer hunting - 3 months up before dark, 4am, Thursdays, Saturdays. Why? Love it, devoted to it. Yet Vicky won't do the same! Why? She doesn't love it and she's not devoted to it. Very early - What a beautiful picture of these women's love and devotion for Jesus!