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(Mark 16:9-20) *New Living Translation*
– Last week we read that Mary Magdalene had found the empty tomb, and spoke with an angel who told her to deliver this message to the disciples:
– Mark 16:6-7, The angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body. 7 Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died.”
– The resurrection is the most significant event in all of human history, foundational to our faith!
– Jesus’ death brought forgiveness of sin. His resurrection gives us new life, on earth and in heaven. We are ALIVE, because Jesus has conquered death!
– Today is the last sermon of the Book of Mark. We have talked about Jesus’ ministry, His death, burial, and resurrection. Now let’s talk about what happened next.
- What really happened next?
– Mark 16:8, The women fled from the tomb, trembling and bewildered, and they said nothing to anyone because they were too frightened.
– That’s it! That is the end of what Mark wrote. This is a terrible ending! Then what happened?! This powerful story just ends with that?
– Example: It’s like watching a movie, but then turning it off before the last 10 minutes. I hate it when a movie doesn’t resolve!
– Biblical Scholars predominately agree that verse 8 couldn’t possibly be the intentional end to the writing, and also that Mark DID NOT write the longer ending himself.
– In the ancient manuscripts, verse 8 ends with the literary equivalent of “because”. There has not been a single other writing found from this period that ends this way.
– The two theories for this are that either the final page was lost or damaged, or Mark was interrupted before finishing.
– Much of the vocabulary is totally different from the rest of the Gospel of Mark, and there are some awkward grammatical transitions between Mark 16:8 and Mark 16:9.
– The 2 oldest Greek manuscripts do not include these verses as the original text. However, nearly all other manuscripts of Mark contain them.
– There are 2 endings to the Gospel of Mark.
– Even though the authors are unknown, this is still the authentic word of the Lord.
– There are many early Christian writings that reference the content of the longer ending of Mark, dating back as far as 100AD. This is only about 40 years after Mark was written.
– The overwhelming majority of ancient manuscripts DO include these verses.
– Basically, every detail of these two endings matches up to multiple scriptures included in the other gospel writings and can be found throughout the Bible.
– We don’t question the validity of Psalms or Hebrews, so why would we question the end of Mark?
– David only wrote about half of the Psalms. The other various authors are unknown to us.
– Psalms includes several prophecies about the coming Messiah and is quoted more than 75 different times in the New Testament.
– Hebrews was more of a sermon than a letter, but circulated around with Paul’s letters to the churches. Many assumed that it was written by the Apostle Paul, but it wasn’t.
– It wasn’t until Martin Luther, in the 1500s, that it is was suggested Apollos may have written Hebrews, but the author still cannot be positively identified.
– Regardless of who may have written these scriptures, they are the uncontested Word of God!
– 1 Tim 3:16-17, 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.
– Mark may not have written these verses, but God did, and they have been passed down to us along with the rest of the Bible.
– This is the shorter ending of Mark: (Read the shorter ending now)
– Short, sweet, and to the point. Biblically solid and matches all other scripture on the subject.
– Some manuscripts include this ending, but most do not, favoring the longer ending.
– Today we are talking about the longer ending of Mark, and the truths contained within it.
2. Mary’s message was met with disbelief. Read Mark 16:9-14
– Just like Mary didn’t expect the resurrection when she probably should have, we see the same thing in the reaction of the disciples.
– Almost everyone doubted this “unbelievable news” until Jesus appeared to them in the flesh.
– I know what it’s like to know the miracles of God, but not be ready for it to happen in front of you.
– Example: Leah’s story. In the outskirts of town, 91 yrs old, trouble walking, can’t make it to church. Unplanned ministry visit, she didn’t know we were coming, and neither did we.
– She speaks Kikuyo, Kevin translates as Leah begins crying and quoting her anchor verses from Matthew Ch. 25, “For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink…I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me…”
– Also Aaron’s anchor verses that are the foundation of his ministry, and what led us to Kenya. Leah said that she knew he was going to say that.
– She had a vision a couple weeks, 2 muzungu would come to her and bring her comfort.
– Moved by the Spirit, Aaron knelt down and washes Leah’s feet and legs.
– We left stunned, mind spinning, We had left and forgot to even give her our names!
– It was an amazing confirmation of God’s promises for her and for us!
– Aaron and the team visited Leah this year, and she is up and walking around fine.