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Mark - Who is Christ?
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to MARK
PART 9 - The Resurrection of Christ From the Dead (Mark 16:1-20)

1. The Women Perplexed About the Stone At the Door of the Tomb (Mark 16:1-4)

MARK 16:1-4
1 When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, that they might come and anoint him. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. 3 They were saying among themselves, “Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?” 4 for it was very big. Looking up, they saw that the stone was rolled back.

The Jews regarded the Sabbath as a day of rest, refreshment, and complete cessation of all ordinary work, toil, and struggle. They considered all acts during this symbol of the covenant with God as a blasphemy, which deserved death. Jesus accepted this command of the old covenant, and rested on the seventh day of his ministry of redemption of the world. God himself rested from his great creation on the seventh day.

Yet, the disciples remained afraid and hopeless. They were afraid of being condemned and executed by the nation for having followed Jesus, who was counted by the chiefs of the people as a deceiver and blasphemer. They did not appear outside in the roads or marketplaces, but closed the doors against themselves, for fear of the Jews, as if they were at war.

The women also could not act according to the custom as regards the body of Jesus, because of the orders of the Sabbath. Therefore, they went very early, on Sunday morning, at break of day, to the marketplace, and bought sweet spices, and valuable perfumed oils. They sacrificed their money to honor the Holy One. All their thoughts were concentrated on the death of the divine Master.

The women who hurried very early on Sunday were the same women who attended at the cross on Friday, out of whom was Mary Magdalene, out of whom Jesus had cast seven demons, also the mother of the apostles John and James, and others.

Carried by holy zeal to seek Christ diligently, they went out from the guarded door of the city, and reached the tomb at sunrise, as a symbol of all those who seek Christ diligently, as is written: “Those that seek me early shall find me.”

In spite of their love for the sleeping Jesus, they were concerned about the large, round stone at the door of the tomb, which was sealed by the Roman guards, for they would have been unable to move that stone, even if they tried with their united strength. As such, we often think of an irremovable burden, and find no solution for the problem.

When the women arrived at the tomb of Jesus, they found that the large, heavy stone was rolled away, as if the merciful God had heard their moaning and sent an angel to open their way to Jesus. As such, God is often ashamed of the weak faith of his pious people, and answers their prayers even before they see the great event.

However, the women did not sense the great event on that day. They neither expected the great miracle, nor went down hopelessly to the level of death. They had not yet recognized the life of God, but they sought Jesus, and were willing to serve him. They set out on the right path, and reached the promised goal.

In every age and religion, we find faithful seekers of God, who suffer in thought and deed to find the great, unknown God. They do not recognize that he is present and active without their dead rituals. Their worries and efforts are worldly, and humanly limited, for the grace of God is triumphant in accomplishing the final and full salvation of all who return to God.

PRAYER: O Holy God, we thank you that you answered the worries of the women, and blessed their search for Christ. Forgive our human worries, even if we sink in religious cares. Be merciful to us while we are in the shadow of death. Enlighten our spiritual insight. Lead us always in the procession of your triumph, and let the heavy stone of death be rolled away from the hearts of our friends near and far. Amen.


  1. What is the significance of the stone which was rolled away from the door of the tomb?


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