Christ's resurrection made known the women. (1-8) Christ appears to Mary Magdalene and other disciples. (9-13) His commission to the apostles. (14-18) Christ's ascension. (19,20)
Verses 1-8 Nicodemus brought a large quantity of spices, but these good women did not think that enough. The respect others show to Christ, should not hinder us from showing our respect. And those who are carried by holy zeal, to seek Christ diligently, will find the difficulties in their way speedily vanish. When we put ourselves to trouble and expense, from love to Christ, we shall be accepted, though our endeavours are not successful. The sight of the angel might justly have encouraged them, but they were affrighted. Thus many times that which should be matter of comfort to us, through our own mistake, proves a terror to us. He was crucified, but he is glorified. He is risen, he is not here, not dead, but alive again; hereafter you will see him, but you may here see the place where he was laid. Thus seasonable comforts will be sent to those that lament after the Lord Jesus. Peter is particularly named, Tell Peter; it will be most welcome to him, for he is in sorrow for sin. A sight of Christ will be very welcome to a true penitent, and a true penitent is very welcome to a sight of Christ. The men ran with all the haste they could to the disciples; but disquieting fears often hinder us from doing that service to Christ and to the souls of men, which, if faith and the joy of faith were strong, we might do.
Verses 9-13 Better news cannot be brought to disciples in tears, than to tell them of Christ's resurrection. And we should study to comfort disciples that are mourners, by telling them whatever we have seen of Christ. It was a wise providence that the proofs of Christ's resurrection were given gradually, and admitted cautiously, that the assurance with which the apostles preached this doctrine afterwards might the more satisfy. Yet how slowly do we admit the consolations which the word of God holds forth! Therefore while Christ comforts his people, he often sees it needful to rebuke and correct them for hardness of heart in distrusting his promise, as well as in not obeying his holy precepts.
Verses 14-18 The evidences of the truth of the gospel are so full, that those who receive it not, may justly be upbraided with their unbelief. Our blessed Lord renewed his choice of the eleven as his apostles, and commissioned them to go into all the world, to preach his gospel to every creature. Only he that is a true Christian shall be saved through Christ. Simon Magus professed to believe, and was baptized, yet he was declared to be in the bonds of iniquity: see his history in ( Acts 8:13-25 ) . Doubtless this is a solemn declaration of that true faith which receives Christ in all his characters and offices, and for all the purposes of salvation, and which produces its right effect on the heart and life; not a mere assent, which is a dead faith, and cannot profit. The commission of Christ's ministers extends to every creature throughout the world, and the declarations of the gospel contain not only truths, encouragements, and precepts, but also most awful warnings. Observe what power the apostles should be endued with, for confirming the doctrine they were to preach. These were miracles to confirm the truth of the gospel, and means of spreading the gospel among nations that had not heard it.
Verses 19-20 After the Lord had spoken he went up into heaven. Sitting is a posture of rest, he had finished his work; and a posture of rule, he took possession of his kingdom. He sat at the right hand of God, which denotes his sovereign dignity and universal power. Whatever God does concerning us, gives to us, or accepts from us, it is by his Son. Now he is glorified with the glory he had before the world. The apostles went forth, and preached every where, far and near. Though the doctrine they preached was spiritual and heavenly, and directly contrary to the spirit and temper of the world; though it met with much opposition, and was wholly destitute of all worldly supports and advantages; yet in a few years the sound went forth unto the ends of the earth. Christ's ministers do not now need to work miracles to prove their message; the Scriptures are proved to be of Divine origin, and this renders those without excuse who reject or neglect them. The effects of the gospel, when faithfully preached, and truly believed, in changing the tempers and characters of mankind, form a constant proof, a miraculous proof, that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, of all who believe.
Mark 16:1-20 . ANGELIC ANNOUNCEMENT TO THE WOMEN ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK, THAT CHRIST IS RISEN--HIS APPEARANCES AFTER HIS RESURRECTION--HIS ASCENSION--TRIUMPHANT PROCLAMATION OF HIS GOSPEL. ( = Matthew 28:1-10 Matthew 28:16-20 , Luke 24:1-51 , John 20:1 John 20:2 John 20:11-29 ).
The Resurrection Announced to the Women ( Mark 16:1-8 ).
1. when the sabbath was past--that is, at sunset of our Saturday.
Mary the mother of James--James the Less (see Mark 15:40 ).
and Salome--the mother of Zebedee's sons (compare Mark 15:40 with Matthew 27:56 ).
had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him--The word is simply "bought." But our translators are perhaps right in rendering it here "had bought," since it would appear, from Luke 23:56 , that they had purchased them immediately after the Crucifixion, on the Friday evening, during the short interval that remained to them before sunset, when the sabbath rest began; and that they had only deferred using them to anoint the body till the sabbath rest should be over. On this "anointing,"
2. very early in the
the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun--not quite literally, but "at earliest dawn"; according to a way of speaking not uncommon, and occurring sometimes in the Old Testament. Thus our Lord rose on the third day; having lain in the grave part of Friday, the whole of Saturday, and part of the following First day.
3. they said among themselves--as they were approaching the sacred spot.
Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? . . . for it was very great--On reaching it they find their difficulty gone--the stone already rolled away by an unseen hand. And are there no others who, when advancing to duty in the face of appalling difficulties, find their stone also rolled away?
5. entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man--In Matthew 28:2 he is called "the angel of the Lord"; but here he is described as he appeared to the eye, in the bloom of a life that knows no decay. In Matthew he is represented as sitting on the stone outside the sepulchre; but since even there he says, "Come, see the place where the Lord lay" ( Matthew 28:6 ), he seems, as ALFORD says, to have gone in with them from without; only awaiting their arrival to accompany them into the hallowed spot, and instruct them about it.
sitting on the right side--having respect to the position in which His Lord had lain there. This trait is peculiar to Mark; but compare Luke 1:11 .
clothed in a long white garment--On its length, see Isaiah 6:1 ; and on its whiteness,
and they were affrighted.
6. he saith unto them, Be not affrighted--a stronger word than "Fear not" in Matthew ( Matthew 28:5 ).
Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified!--"the Nazarene, the Crucified,"
he is risen; he is not
behold the place where they laid
7. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter--This Second Gospel, being drawn up--as all the earliest tradition states--under the eye of Peter, or from materials chiefly furnished by him, there is something deeply affecting in the preservation of this little phrase by Mark alone.
that he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him, as he said unto
8. And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre: for they trembled and were amazed--"for tremor and amazement seized them."
neither said they anything to any man; for they were afraid--How intensely natural and simple is this!
Appearances of Jesus after His Resurrection ( Mark 16:9-18 ).
9. Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils--There is some difficulty here, and different ways of removing it have been adopted. She had gone with the other women to the sepulchre ( Mark 16:1 ), parting from them, perhaps, before their interview with the angel, and on finding Peter and John she had come with them back to the spot; and it was at this second visit, it would seem, that Jesus appeared to this Mary, as detailed in John 20:11-18 . To a woman was this honor given to be the first that saw the risen Redeemer, and that woman was NOT his virgin-mother.
11. they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not--This, which is once and again repeated of them all, is most important in its bearing on their subsequent testimony to His resurrection at the risk of life itself.
12. After that he appeared in another form--(compare Luke 24:16 ).
unto two of them as they walked, and went into the country--The reference here, of course, is to His manifestation to the two disciples going to Emmaus, so exquisitely told by the Third Evangelist
13. they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them, &c.
15. he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every
16. He that believeth and is baptized--Baptism is here put for the external signature of the inner faith of the heart, just as "confessing with the mouth" is in Romans 10:10 ; and there also as here this outward manifestation, once mentioned as the proper fruit of faith, is not repeated in what follows ( Romans 10:11 ).
shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned--These awful issues of the reception or rejection of the Gospel, though often recorded in other connections, are given in this connection only by Mark.
17, 18. these signs shall follow them that believe . . . They shall take up serpents--These two verses also are peculiar to Mark.
The Ascension and Triumphant Proclamation of the Gospel Thereafter ( mark 16:19 mark 16:20 ).
19. So then after the Lord--an epithet applied to Jesus by this Evangelist only in mark 16:19 mark 16:20 , when He comes to His glorious Ascension and its subsequent fruits. It is most frequent in Luke.
had spoken unto them, he was received up into
and sat on the right hand of God--This great truth is here only related as a fact in the Gospel history. In that exalted attitude He appeared to Stephen ( Acts 7:55 Acts 7:56 ); and it is thereafter perpetually referred to as His proper condition in glory.
20. they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen--We have in this closing verse a most important link of connection with the Acts of the Apostles, where He who directed all the movements of the infant Church is perpetually styled "THE LORD"; thus illustrating His own promise for the rounding and building up of the Church, "LO, I AM WITH YOU alway!"