A ReMARKable Life Series
  • The gospel of Mark is a short, action-packed book that focuses on how Jesus Christ is the Messiah for every man, woman, and child. Christ – fully man, fully God. But Jesus wasn't the rescuer God's people had imagined, and many didn't recognize Jesus as their answer to prayer. We, too, can miss out on what God wants for us if we're only looking for answers that fit our expectations. Join us for this series as we explore Jesus' heart for people and we can change the world by serving one person at a time and helping them connect with God.
14. Why the Resurrection Matters (Mark 16:1-6)
  • Everything Jesus had preached and said seemed to be in vain; He was dead. His followers were scattered without hope. Yet, after 3 days, Jesus arose from the grave just as He had said He would, appeared in person to some of the women who followed Him and then instructed them to tell His disciples about His resurrection. True to His word, He is indeed the Messiah, and He is alive! Death and sin have been defeated! Salvation in Him is real!
Sermon Preparation Guide
  • Importance – What are the central ideas of the text?
  • Jesus rose from the dead. (Mark 16:6)
  • Jesus' claim to be the Messiah and Savior is true. (Mark 16:6)
  • The evidence of Jesus' resurrection is undeniable, and in rising again, He fulfilled prophecy. (Mark 16:7)
  • Implications – What questions should the listener be asking?
  • Why did Jesus have to rise from the dead?
  • What is the proof to you that Jesus is indeed the Messiah?
  • What are the implications of fulfilled prophecy?
Talk it Over Discussion Guide
  • Interpretation – What is the text telling/showing us?
  • Why did the women wait until the Sabbath was over to go to the tomb?
  • What was the objective the women had in mind in going to the tomb? Was it just to anoint the body or was it more?
  • What is the importance of the fact that the tomb was sealed up by the stone?
  • Describe what you think was the state of mind of the women as they approached the tomb? What was it when they saw the stone had been rolled away? What was it when they went into the tomb?
  • Why did God send an angel to speak to the women?
  • What was the message of the angel to the women?
  • Why was it important for the women to tell the disciples about what they had seen? Why was it particularly important that t he angel singled out Peter to be told?
  • Why were the women alarmed and amazed?
  • Why might the women have been afraid to speak?
  • Implementation – What should the listener’s response be?
  • What would you have been thinking if you had been present at Jesus crucifixion and saw Him placed in a tomb?
  • What is the lesson to us of the attitude these women had towards Jesus?
  • What is important about the fact that it was women who first discovered that Jesus had risen from the grave?
  • Why might it have been necessary for an angel to be present at the tomb?
  • What do you think it is about angels that makes one afraid in their presence?
  • What must Peter have been thinking about for these hours following Jesus' death?
  • Why was it important for the angel to tell the women to tell the disciples that they would see Jesus just as He had told them??
  • What is the meaning of the resurrection to you? How does it affect your life on a day-to-day basis?
Sermon Teaching Notes (as prepared by Pastor Dick Murphy)
  • Investigation – What’s generally going on in this area of Scripture?
Jesus was dead, and He had been buried in a tomb by Joseph of Arimathea. All the disciples had scattered (Mark 14:50; Matthew 26:56), afraid of the religious authorities (John 20:19). Judas had returned to the same authorities his pay for betraying Jesus, and then gone out and committed suicide (Matthew 27:3-10). All hope, it seemed, had gone, wiped away by the events of the past day which had climaxed in Jesus’ trial and crucifixion.

Out of love and devotion, the women who had looked on at the crucifixion from a distance and observed where Jesus was buried, Mary Magdalene, Mary and Salome (Mark 15:40 & 47), now came to the tomb to anoint Jesus’ body for a proper burial. They came at first light, early Sunday morning, the day after the Sabbath (which was over at 6pm on Saturday) (Mark 16:1 & 2). Evidently the women were not aware of the guard that had been posted at the tomb by Pilate and the religious authorities to assure the body wasn’t stolen (Matthew 27:62-66), as their sole focus seemed to be how the stone covering the entrance to the tomb would be rolled away (Mark 16:3). The stone was most likely a large, heavy circular stone which would have been rolled in place in a sloped track at the tomb’s entrance. Once in place, it would be extremely difficult to remove it, and certainly the three women would not have been able to do so. But as they arrived, the women saw that the stone had been rolled away! (Mark 16:4) So they entered the tomb, fully expecting to find Jesus’ body and proceed with their task. But instead of finding the body they saw a “young man” wearing “a white robe” (Mark 16:5). The white robe indicates that this was an angel. Luke’s gospel describes the clothing as “dazzling” (Luke 24:4). This angel was sitting at the right side of where Jesus’ body had been laid (Mark 16:5), and Jesus’ body was not there! The women were alarmed (also translated “amazed,” and “dumbfounded”) and couldn’t say a word (Mark 16:5). Here they were in Jesus’ tomb, in despair and sadness over the death of their beloved Lord, and they were confronted by an angel and no body; of course they would be alarmed and speechless. The angel then spoke to them, first telling them not to be alarmed. The angel knew why the women were there, and he said so, saying, “You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified.” (Mark 16:6) And then the angel proceeds to reveal the good news, namely that “He has risen; He is not here.” (Mark 16:6) In short, Jesus is alive, He is no longer dead! And He has left the tomb! And as if to bolster the point, the angel tells them to look, in effect saying, “This is where His body was … right here; and yes, He’s not here any more because He’s alive!” (Mark 16:6) And before the women can react or even say anything, the angel tells them to go and tell the disciples and Peter that Jesus is going to Galilee where they will see Him, just as He had said they would (Mark 16:7. See also Mark 14:28). Unbelievable! Their world had just been turned upside down yet again, but now with news so good they could hardly believe it. So they left the tomb trembling with astonishment mixed with fear, and said nothing to anyone at that point (Mark 16:8). We learn from the gospels of Matthew and Mark that they did talk in due course after they had “collected their wits” as it were (Matthew 28:8; Luke 24:9), even as joy supplanted their bewilderment and fear. Their Lord Jesus had risen! He had defeated death and was alive, and they would see Him again! No wonder they were filled with joy.

Mark has reached the culmination of his gospel story. All through the previous written words, the question was posed over and over in different ways, “Who do you say that Jesus is?” The Chief Priest had asked the question, and Jesus had answered, “I am!” (Mark 14:62) Pilate had asked Jesus if He was the “King of the Jews,” and Jesus had answered, “You have said so.” (Mark 15:2) Peter had made his confession, saying that Jesus was the Messiah (Mark 8:29). God Himself had testified that Jesus was His Son (Mark 1:11; 9:7). Jesus performed a multitude of miracles that witnessed to who He was. And Jesus had predicted what would happen to Him, and it had all happened just as He said. And now He had risen from the grave and was alive again. The angel’s words, “He has risen; he is not here.” Continue to reverberate to this very day. Jesus, the Son of God, Messiah, has given up His life to defeat sin and death and has risen to give eternal life, the firstborn among many (Romans 8:29) who bow their knee to His Lordship and receive salvation and the forgiveness of sin. This truth is the message of Mark’s gospel, and it is the message that continues to speak today. Jesus is alive and He continues to forgive those who come to Him in faith on the basis of His death and resurrection (Romans 10:8-10).

Why does the resurrection matter? It matters because it is the proof positive that Jesus is who He said He was, namely the Messiah, the God-man, who saves. It matters because without His sacrifice, without His offering Himself as the perfect substitute for our sin, we would still be trapped in our sin and under our own death sentence for that sin (Romans 3:23; 6:23; Hebrews 9:22-28; 12:2; I John 1:7; 2:2). But His resurrection has given us not only freedom from that sin but eternal life (Romans 6:4). It matters because if the resurrection did not happen, then the preaching of the gospel message is a lie, faith in Christ is without meaning, and one’s future is hopeless (I Corinthians 15:12-19). The resurrection of Jesus is thus EVERYTHING! It is the lynchpin of the gospel message, it is the promise of life worth living, it is the hope of life in eternity in God’s presence, it is the ultimate reality that issues in glory to God the Father (Philippians 2:5-11). So, who do you say Jesus is? He is the risen Savior of all who come to Him in faith for the forgiveness of sin and life everlasting; He is the King of kings who will return as triumphant Lord (Revelation 19:11-16); He is the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end, the root and offspring of David, the bright morning star … (Revelation 22:13, 16) He is Jesus – Savior and Lord!! Come and worship Him!

Added summary (from Pastor Dan Davis): 6 reasons why the resurrection matters –

1. Because by the resurrection, we know that Jesus is truly God.
2. Because by the resurrection, Jesus conquered our greatest enemies – Satan, sin and death.
3. Because by the resurrection, the Father accepted Jesus' sacrifice on our behalf.
4. Because by the resurrection, our hope is no longer in the things of this life.
5. Because by the resurrection, we no longer need to live in sin.

6. Because by the resurrection, we can obey Jesus' command to go make disciples of all nations.