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THE VICTORIOUS SERVANT OF GOD

Mark 16

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A.   Mark 15 concludes with:

1.     Jesus being placed in the tomb of Joseph of Arimethea (Mark 15:47).

2.     And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid (Mark 15:48).

 

B.    The hours that followed were gloomy indeed for the disciples.

1.     Their hope was dead.

2.     Their hearts were fearful.

3.     Their houses in Galilee were calling them to come back.

 

C.   Little did they know how drastically their lives were about to change.  Their mutilated Master was going to display Himself as “The Victorious Servant of God” (Mark 16).

 

I.           THE ANOINTING (Mark 16:1)

 

A.   The Friday upon which Jesus died came to a quick close.  The Sabbath began at 6:00 p.m.  There was no time to anoint the body of Jesus prior to the burial.

 

B.    Thus, when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had brought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him (Mark 16:1).

1.     These spices were intended for two purposes:

a.     To slow the putrefaction process.

b.    To arrogate the area where the body lay.

2.     Fortunately for the body of Jesus, it had already been anointed earlier.  We read about it in Mark 14:3-9.

 

C.   Interesting Point:  The fact that these women had come to anoint the body of Jesus is proof that they were not expecting the resurrection of Jesus.

 

II.         THE AMAZEMENT (Mark 16:2-5)

 

A.   The women came to the sepulcher very early in the morning the first day of the week…at the rising of the sun (Mark 16:2).

1.     The phrase, “the first day of the week,” involves Roman, not Jewish time.

2.     This would now involve the third day:  part of Friday, all day Saturday, and part of the first day of the week.

 

B.    Two things brought amazement and fear to these women.

1.     The stone was rolled away from the door of the sepulcher (Mark 16:3-4).

a.     They had been discussing who would move the stone for them.

b.    They were amazed because the stone was rolled away, and it was very great.

2.     A young man was in the sepulcher, sitting on the right side, clothed in a large white garment (Mark 16:5).

 

C.   LESSON:  The passage of time, a great stone, and the enemy of death are no obstacles for the God of heaven.  He transcends time, moves stones, and subdues death.

 

III.       THE ANNOUNCEMENT (Mark 16:6-8)

 

A.   The Voice of Victory (Mark 16:6)

 

And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted:  Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified:  he is risen; he is not here:  behold the place where they laid him.

 

1.     The victory words of the Christian are three in number:  He is risen!

2.     The results of these words are many:

a.     The destruction of death

b.    The proof that Jesus is the Son of the living God

c.    The enlightenment of hope in the hearts of the believers

3.     Death, the grave, and the hadean realm could not hold the Son of the living God.

a.     This message is the power of Christianity.

b.    This message is what distinguishes Christianity from all other religions.  Our leader cannot be found in a dead man’s tomb.

 

B.    The Gathering in Galilee (Mark 16:7)  …tell his disciples and Peter…

 

C.   The Flight of Fear (Mark 16:8)

 

And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulcher; for they trembled and were amazed:  neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.

 

1.     The women feared and they did not speak.

2.     LESSON:  Sometimes our fears keep us from speaking about the resurrected Lord.

a.     The silence of the women might be justified.

b.    Our silence never is.

 

IV.        THE ATTESTATION (Mark 16:9-14)

 

A.   Three times the word “appeared” occurs in this section.  The appearances of Jesus were to attest to the fact of His resurrection.

1.     He appeared first to Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9-11).

2.     After that He appeared unto two of them as they walked, and went into the country (Mark 16:12-13).

3.     Afterward He appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat (Mark 16:14).

B.    Twice we are told that the eleven did not believe the testimony of the witnesses.

1.     There was more than one witness, and, the witnesses were reliable.

2.     The disciples should have believed the testimony of these good people, but they did not.

 

C.   When Jesus appeared to the eleven we read that he upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen (Mark 16:14).

1.     Thomas was not the only one to doubt, nor was he the first to doubt.  All the disciples refused to believe the witnesses.

2.     Jesus upbraided them.

a.     Strong (3679):  to defame, that is rail at, chide, taunt

b.    Thayer:  to upbraid, reproach, revile, of deserved reproach

 

D.   Two points:

1.     The evidence of Jesus’ resurrection was sufficient then, and it is sufficient now (See I Cor. 15:5-8).

2.     Jesus always held His apostles accountable.

a.     He did not overlook, excuse, and rationalize their faults.

b.    Jesus confronted their wrong behaviors and beliefs.  Here, He “upbraided” them.

c.    Correction will never be made unless there is first confrontation.

 

V.          THE AUTHORIZATION (Mark 16:15-18)

 

A.   The Commission (Mark 15:15-16)

 

And he said unto them, go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned.

 

1.     Go

2.     Ye

3.     Into all the world

4.     And preach the gospel

5.     To every creature

6.     Believeth

7.     Is baptized

8.     Shall be saved

9.     Believeth not

10.  Shall be damned

 

B.    The Confirmation (Mark 16:17-18)

1.     Jesus promises five signs that “shall follow them that believe.”

a.     Cast out devils

b.    Speak with new tongues

c.    Take up serpents

d.    Drink deadly things without being harmed

e.     Lay hands on the sick and they shall recover

2.     To whom were the sign promised?

a.     Two answers:

1)     The apostles

2)     Those the apostles converted by carrying out the Great Commission

b.    This speaker believes that the reference is to the apostles.  Why?

1)     These men would need signs to confirm their spoken words.

2)     Jesus had upbraided them for the unbelief.  He now tells them that the only way for them to have these needed signs was to believe.

3)     Mark 16:20

 

And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, confirming the word with signs following.

 

3.     If the signs were promised to new converts, they only way they could receive them would be by the laying on the apostles’ hands (Acts 8:5-24).

 

VI.        THE ASCENSION (Mark 16:19-20)

 

A.   Received up into heaven (Mark 16:19)

 

So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat down on the right hand of God.

 

1.     Jesus was elevated from the planet.

2.     Jesus was elevated to a position at the right hand of God.

a.     Daniel foretold of this event (Dan. 7:13-14).

 

I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.  And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him:  his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

 

b.    Jesus sits upon His throne as King of kings and Lord of lords.  He will reign till He has put all enemies under His feet, the last enemy to be destroyed is death (I Cor. 15:25-26).

 

B.    Reaching out into the world (Mark 16:20)

1.     The apostles obeyed the injunction of Jesus.  They went forth and preached everywhere.

2.     The Lord worked with them by enabling them to do miraculous works that confirmed the words of their message.

3.     In the book of Acts we get a glimpse into the apostolic missions as they were fulfilled.  These men took the gospel to the world and turned it upside down for Christ.

4.     POINT:  Let us commit to keeping the message alive through our lifetime and throughout all the world.

CONCLUSION

 

A.   Jesus’ earthly ministry now comes to a close.

 

B.    The last verse of Mark’s gospel, however, points to the book of Acts and the epistles. 

1.     The resurrection of Christ changed and emboldened these followers of Jesus.

2.     All but one would die a martyr’s death for the cause of Christ.