Gospel text 16:1-8
After the Sabbath, early on Sunday morning, three women (Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome) went to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus. On the way they worried who would roll the stone back for them. When they got to the tomb they discovered the stone had already been rolled back. They went into the tomb and saw a young man in white and they were frightened. He told them to not be afraid and that Jesus had risen from the dead. He told them to go and tell the disciples including Peter that they would see him in Galilee. The women fled from the tomb and told no one because they were afraid.
· The early tomb story shows the loyalty of the women to the Jewish burial customs and the Sabbath law. They visit the tomb at the first opportunity once the Sabbath has ended.
· Notice how the young man in white (angel?) deliberately mentions Peter – an indication that Peter has been forgiven for denying Jesus.
· Mark’s Gospel is believed to end at verse 8 which is strange as it ends with fear.
· Did Mark intend it to end there? Did he die before completing his Gospel? Has the end of his Gospel been lost or stolen? It certainly does not end with the joy which is the Good News that Mark promised in chapter 1 verse 1.
· Perhaps Mark felt the story had been told with the resurrection and there was nothing else to write.
Explain why there is a problem about the ending of Mark’s Gospel
Explain why there are different endings to Mark’s Gospel
· Most reliable manuscripts end at verse 8.
· This seems to be a rather abrupt ending.
· It would have been unlikely to end on a note of fear.
· The original ending may have been lost.
· Mark may have been unable to finish it for some reason.
· The two alternative endings were possibly added by other Christians to ‘round off’ the Gospel.
Possible opinion questions (b and d) - Do you think Jesus rose from the dead?
o Jesus is divine. Therefore the resurrection is possible.
o There is evidence in the Bible that Jesus rose from the dead.
o Jesus predicted that he would rise.
o The women knew which tomb to go to.
o It is scientifically impossible for someone to rise from the dead.
o You can’t rely on the evidence from the Bible.
His body could have been stolen from the tomb / the women might have gone to the wrong tomb / Jesus might not have really died
· The resurrection is the centre of the Christian faith.
· It proves that Jesus is the Son of God.
· It shows that death is not the end.
· The Christian hope is that people will live beyond death to a new and eternal life with God.
· Death is nothing to fear.
· It confirms Jesus’ work – he lived, died and rose to bring people back to God.
· Jesus is alive and lives with his followers.
· The transformation of the disciples proves to many Christians that the resurrection did happen. They went from frightened men to fearless men who were prepared to die for the gospel.
· The resurrection appearances help people to believe that the resurrection was a physical one not just a spiritual event. Jesus walked, talked, ate etc.
Explain why the resurrection is important for Christians –typical Question C
· The resurrection shows that Jesus was not just human because only God could rise from the dead.
· The resurrection showed that what Jesus predicted came true and therefore his word is trustworthy.
· The resurrection means that there is life after death.
· The resurrection provides the reason for the existence of the Church.
· Jesus was the Son of God.
· The resurrection gives Christians hope.
Think about….possible opinion questions (b and d)
· “The resurrection of Jesus is impossible to believe.” (question d)
o Once someone is dead they cannot be brought back to life.
o It is against all that science teaches us.
o It was the invention of the early Church.
o God has power over death and so could raise him.
o It fulfilled all that Jesus had said would happen.
o The Church would never have survived if the resurrection was a lie.