Lesson #4

The Resurrection

Mark 16:1-11        The New King James Version

1.  Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the
mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and
anoint Him.  
2 Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came
to the tomb when the sun had risen.  
3 And they said among themselves, "Who will roll away the stone
from the door of the tomb for us?"  
4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled
away for it was very large.  
5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long
white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed.  
6 But he said to them, "Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of
Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place
where they laid Him.  
7 "But go, tell His disciples and Peter that He is going before you
into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you."  
8 So they went out quickly and fled from the tomb, for they trembled
and were amazed. And they said nothing to anyone, for they were
9 Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared
first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons.  
10 She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned
and wept.  
11 And when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her,
they did not believe. 

                             The Proof of Jesus' Death

     In order that there might be no doubt about the Lord's
resurrection it was necessary for even the enemies of Christ to
pronounce him dead.

     The soldiers decided to hasten the death of the crucified by
breaking their legs (so they could not stand upright on their nailed feet
and get breath) and thus die of asphyxiation.  They broke the legs of
the two thieves because they were not yet dead, but did not break the
legs of Jesus because he was already dead (John 19:31-34).  Thus one
soldier thrust his spear in his side under his rib cage and assured his

     Pilate would not give the body up to Joseph of Arimathea for
burial until he had been assured by the centurion in charge that Jesus
really was dead (Mark 15:42-45).

     The Jews contributed to the confirmation of his death by their
deeds described in Matthew 27:62-64.

     Since Jesus had been crucified by the Romans in plain view of both
Gentiles and Jews, of both disciples and non-disciples, of both friends
and enemies, we today can be certain that no mistake was made in the
matter: Jesus did really die!  (1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Hebrews 2:9;
Romans 5:8).

                              The Text   16:1-11

     Verse 1.  The Sabbath ended at sundown (Saturday) and that
allowed the women to then buy spice that they might go early the next
morning to anoint the body of Jesus. 

     Verse 2.  Parts of the city in the shadow of the Mount of Olives
had not yet seen the sun, some parts of the city had.  There's no doubt
that the resur-rection took place on a Sunday, the first day of the

     Jesus made his first appearance to his disciples on the first day of
the week.  He sent the Holy Spirit on the Apostles on the first day of
the week (Acts 2:1-4).  The church was established on the first day of
the week.  The Lord's Supper is to be eaten on the first day of the
week (Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:1,2).  The first day of the week is
the only day authorized by the Bible as the day on which the Lord's
supper is to be eaten.

     Verse 3.  The women are discussing how they will get the large
stone rolled away from the entrance.  Apparently they're unaware of
the guard that had been posted, and if nothing unusual had have
happened the guard would not have let them have entrance into the
tomb anyway.

     But as it is, the guard, probably at this very moment, is hurrying
into town with the news of an angel rolling the stone away!  (See
Matthew 28:11-15).

     Verse 4.  The women approach the tomb finding the large stone
block the doorway had been rolled away.

     Verse 5.  Such tombs had a main chamber and usually several
recessed niches around the sides for bodies to be laid.  This was a new
tomb that contained no other bodies.  The angel they saw was sitting
on the right side dressed in a long while robe.  In Revelation (19:7, 8)
the robes of the redeemed are said to be fine while linen, and
symbolizes their purity and righteousness.

     The women here are alarmed when they see the angel.  The guards
earlier had "become as dead men" when they saw him.  They may
have fainted or frozen still in fright.

     Verse 6.  The one the women were seeking was not there! 
They're invited to view the precise spot where he lay, and could
undoubtedly see the empty burial clothes and the napkin that had
covered his face neatly folded and laying to the other side (John 20:7)

     The principle message of the angel, "He is risen!" Jesus had
foretold his death and resurrection several times but his disciples did
not grasp the reality of his disclosure until after the eveny itself.

     Verse 7.  The angel instructs the women to go quickly
(Matthew) and tell the disciples and that Jesus would go before them
into Galilee and they would all see Him there.  Here we see that these
women were the first mortals to have the glorious blessing of
proclaiming the resurrection!

     Verse 8.  Quickly they go their way, saying nothing to anyone
along the way, still amazed and trembling themselves.  Imagine the
mixture of emotions stirring within them, "great joy" and "fear."

     Verse 9.  The Bible records some thirteen distinct appearances
of Jesus to various individuals and groups.  Our lesson today deals
only with his very first appearance, to one Mary Magdalene.  She had
been one who experienced the great miraculous work of Jesus in her

     Verse 10. She faithfully reported the Lord's appearance to her to
His disciples as they grieved and wept, but when they heard her
message that Jesus was alive and she had seen Him they did not
believe.  It would take a good deal of evidence before they became
convinced.  They were as skeptical at first as anyone who could be

     By the end of the day Jesus had appeared not only to Mary
Magdalene, but  to other women also as they returned from the tomb. 
He appeared to two on the road to Emmaus who hastened back to
town to convey their good news.  And as these were all gathered in a
locked room (minus Thomas) Jesus himself appeared to the apostles.

                     The Significance of the Resurrection

     Some of the theological significance of the resurrection is
addressed by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15. In that chapter Paul answers
four basic questions: (1) Will there be a resurrection of the dead?  (2)
What will be the nature of the resurrected body?  (3) What will
happen to those who are alive when Jesus comes again?  and  (4)
What are the practical bearings of this doctrine?

     Along with answering these questions Paul affirms that the
resurrection of Christ is a historical fact and that there were many
eyewitnesses to the fact (15:1-11).  Paul then asserts that the
resurrection of Christ from the dead is the bed-rock foundation of
Christianity (15:12-19).

     Paul said in the opening verses of Romans that the resurrection of
Christ proved him to be the Son of God with power.  This was the
ultimate proof that Jesus was who He claimed to be and that His
teaching was sanctioned by the Lord Almighty Himself!

     Paul assures us that the Lord's resurrection is the guarantee that
our bodies will also be raised.  1 Corinthians 15:22 and John 5:28, 29
teach clearly that all men will be raised from the dead, the wicked as
well as the righteous.  "For we must all appear before the judgment
seat of Christ; that each one may receive the things done in the body,
according to what he hath done, whether it be good or bad" 
(2 Corinthians 5:10).

     By raising Christ from the dead, God gave to each of us both a
promise and a pledge that we will all be raised from the dead and that
He will judge all men by Christ (Acts 17:30, 31).


1.   Who all contributed evidence that Jesus really did die?
2.   Why did the soldiers brake the legs of those crucified?
3.   When did the women buy their spice to anoint the body of Jesus?
4.   Name some important matters that are attached to "the first day
     of the week."
5.   What were the women discussing as they approached the tomb?
6.   If Jesus had not been resurrected, do you think they could have
     anointed his body as they intended?
7.   How was the "young man" dressed?  What was his message?
8.   What mixture of emotions do you think may have surged within
     the women as they hurriedly left the tomb?
9.   What does Jesus' resurrection guarantee to us?
10.  Thought Question: The preaching of the resurrection took
     center stage among the apostles in the Book of Acts, why?

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