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Mark 16:1-8 Mary Gathers Spices For Jesus

Posted by adventbiblestudy on March 30, 2013


Mark 16:1-8 NLTse Saturday evening, when the Sabbath ended, Mary Magdalene and Salome and Mary the mother of James went out and purchased burial spices so they could anoint Jesus‘ body. (2) Very early on Sunday morning, just at sunrise, they went to the tomb. (3) On the way they were asking each other, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” (4) But as they arrived, they looked up and saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled aside. (5) When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a white robe sitting on the right side. The women were shocked, (6) but 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.” (8) The women fled from the tombtrembling and bewildered, and they said nothing to anyone because they were too frightened. Then they briefly reported all this to Peter and his companions. Afterward Jesus himself sent them out from east to west with the sacred and unfailing message of salvation that gives eternal life. Amen.

 

Watching Jesus die was difficult for all of His followers. How could anyone do such a thing to another human being? What did Jesus do to deserve such a humiliating death? The scene and emotion proved to much for some of Jesus’ disciples. Joseph had to do something for Jesus. All he could think about was providing a respectable burial by placing Jesus in his own tomb. Joseph went to Pilate and begged him for Jesus’ body. Pilate was surprised to hear Jesus died so quickly. A lot of thoughts went through Pilate’s mind. Maybe the quick death would calm down the crowds in Jerusalem for the festival. Maybe Jesus’ death would excite the crowds. Joseph’s request made sense. Those who wanted Jesus dead should be satisfied. The minority supporting Jesus would see his passionate side if Pilate allowed Jesus a formal burial. Allowing Joseph to bury Jesus seemed to solve both problems. Then Pilate thought of the trial. Why didn’t Jesus defend Himself? Pilate thought he knew everything about Jesus. He heard reports about Jesus for years and never heard one single piece of evidence indicating He was a threat. Pilate knew Jesus was innocent. He knew Jesus posed a threat to the priests. Pilate also heard reports and accusations from the priests and religious leaders for years. When Jesus stood in front of Pilate, he could see the contrast between the two. Jesus exhibited only peace. Pilate knew the priests were motivated by fear. Pilate knew pride motivated the priests and religious leaders. Pilate also knew the heavy toll the priests exerted on the people. Pilate took a few minutes to think of what may have changed if he was able to save Jesus and some how topple the priests from power.

 

Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where Jesus’ body was laid. They also felt they needed to do more for Jesus. Mary thought about everything Jesus shared with her. The most precious gift of all was the love He showed her. Mary knew she would never find another love like it in this world. Jesus freed Mary from the bondage of tradition men clung to and used to their advantage, making love feel like nothing more than a transaction. Men she had known made her feel used and were often abusive. To them a relationship was calculated in terms of what they could receive which was always greater than the little they had to offer. Most times she felt like little more than a possession, equal to a working animal. Men calculated the worth of an animal by what it was able to produce. The value of a sheep was measured by the price its fleece and meat brought at market, a donkey by the load it would carry, oxen by the its stamina and discipline, how straight they could plow. Mary’s worth was measured by her ability to cook, clean, work in the family business, and then her passion. How could she show passion on demand?

 

Mary always felt a need to give and help others even though people took advantage of her generosity, viewing it as a weakness. Jesus was different, He knew the life she faced. Jesus listened to her with compassion, consoled her, and knew how to cheer her with just a look. Mary knew Jesus cared for her more than any other man she had known. Mary watched Jesus teach, listen, heal, and share what little He had with people who had little to give in return. Mary never met a man who paid so much attention to people unable to give anything in return. Everyone else seemed to measure friendship in terms of what they could receive in return for the attention and favors they granted. Mary often thought people learned this from the priests and religious leaders who catered to the rich and regarded poverty as a curse from God. Jesus showed Mary what it was like to be appreciated for who she was. That was a wonderful feeling, filling her heart with joy. It made her feel there was nothing in this world that could ever harm her. Some times as she sat and listened to Jesus, Mary felt as if she was no longer a part of this world, but belonged to a promise of a far better life, a world where everyone reached out, respected and treated people the way they deserved to be treated. Mary loved it when Jesus spoke about Heaven as she hung on every word. Her mind focused on the many symbols Jesus used and saw how they led to a far greater meaning the more she thought about them. Now that Jesus was dead, she wondered if she would ever feel that way again. Jesus left her with a lot of memories, and hope for a better world.

 

Mary felt she had to give Jesus something in return for everything He gave her. But how? She had nothing left to give. She spent her life savings on the ointment she poured on His head and feet. She smiled inside as she thought how lucky she was to exhibit her appreciation while Jesus still lived. Mary was determined to somehow anoint His body for burial. She turned to Salome and Mary the mother of James with her idea. Neither of them could stop crying. Their hearts were torn beyond belief. “But how can we purchase the spices we need? We have no money.” Mary smiled and answered, “the Lord will provide. Remember how He fed the 4000 and 5000? Remember all the people Jesus healed? Remember how he delivered me from the demons of tradition and doctrine and how Jesus touched and helped each of us? We will pray about it.”

 

It was evening, the beginning of the Sabbath. It had been a long and trying day. They still had one another, and now they had a purpose. A small price to pay in return for all Jesus had given them. The women talked and slept little that night. When morning came, neither felt up to socializing. They knew how crowded the temple would be for Sabbath and the Passover. They wanted to avoid any chance of a confrontation at the moment. How could they gain anything from a service conducted by the people who killed Jesus? They decided to remain at home and celebrate the Sabbath by remembering the good times they had with Jesus and many of the things He taught them.

 

Caiaphas planned to deliver the service himself. His goal was to set Israel straight on the Messiah, showing Jesus was an imposter. Caiaphas gathered a number of texts he thought best supported their traditional concept of the Savior to come. Caiaphas thought, once the people were reminded of the rewards they would receive, all the misconceptions and everything Jesus taught would soon be forgotten.

 

The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine. You will enlarge the nation of Israel, and its people will rejoice. They will rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest and like warriors dividing the plunder. For you will break the yoke of their slavery and lift the heavy burden from their shoulders. You will break the oppressor’s rod, just as you did when you destroyed the army of Midian. Nothing will hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain, for as the waters fill the sea, so the earth will be filled with people who know the LORD. In that day the heir to David’s throne will be a banner of salvation to all the world. The nations will rally to him, and the land where he lives will be a glorious place. Scream in terror, for the day of the LORD has arrived– the time for the Almighty to destroy. Every arm is paralyzed with fear. Every heart melts, and people are terrified. Pangs of anguish grip them, like those of a woman in labor. They look helplessly at one another, their faces aflame with fear. For see, the day of the LORD is coming– the terrible day of his fury and fierce anger. The land will be made desolate, and all the sinners destroyed with it. The heavens will be black above them; the stars will give no light. The sun will be dark when it rises, and the moon will provide no light. “I, the LORD, will punish the world for its evil and the wicked for their sin. I will crush the arrogance of the proud and humble the pride of the mighty. Then God will establish one of David’s descendants as king. He will rule with mercy and truth. He will always do what is just and be eager to do what is right. (Isaiah 9:2-4, 11:9-10, 13:6-11, 16:5 NLTse).

 

Caiaphas wanted people to see there will be no mistake when the Messiah arrives to deliver Judah. Signs in heaven and earth will accompany the Messiah, who will reestablish David’s throne. Caiaphas thought the signs were so plain and simple to see. Who could possibly mistake Jesus for the Messiah? Caiaphas thought it was his duty to lead the people back to the traditions he believed held the nation together. Caiaphas wanted his people to follow the Messiah his tradition dictated.

 

The women knew the markets would be opening after the Sabbath. They usually remained closed the evening after the Sabbath, but the merchants were keen to take advantage of large crowds gathered for the Passover. As soon as the sun set, the women headed for the market with the little money they had. Their first stop was to see Philip, a friend and follower of Jesus. Mary told Philip their plan to gather spices for Jesus’ burial, offering him what little money they had. Philip knew they would never accomplish their task with the little money they had. He called a group of children gathering them around him as he knelt on the ground to give them instructions. In a flash children scattered in all directions. Philip stood up, walked to Mary and the other women asking them to wait here with him.

 

As they talked about Jesus and the miracles they witnessed, children began to return with containers of all sizes filled with spices. They deposited the gifts and ran out for more. Soon Philip’s tiny shop was filled with the aroma of expensive spices donated from merchants and people from all over Jerusalem. Philip wrapped it in white linen sheets and handed them to Mary and the other women. Some of the children helped carry the spices back to the house. When they arrived they found more spices donated by friends and neighbors.

 

Very early on Sunday morning, just at sunrise, they went to the tomb carrying the spices collected the evening before. On the way they were asking each other, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” The heavy load they carried reminded them, with God all things are possible. But as they arrived, they looked up and saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled aside. They stood at a distance looking at the open tomb. A number of thoughts went through their minds. Did someone take Jesus’ body? Did someone come to finish burial preparations? Was this another miracle from God? They knew the only way to answer the question was to look. When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a white robe sitting on the right side. The women were shocked, but 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.” The women knew it was an angel of God. They had never seen one before and didn’t know what to think. At first they were frightened. They had reason to be, three women out alone in the early morning. The angle instructed them. 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 women fled from the tombtrembling and bewildered, and they said nothing to anyone because they were too frightened. Then they briefly reported all this to Peter and his companions. Afterward Jesus himself sent them out from east to west with the sacred and unfailing message of salvation that gives eternal life. Amen.

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