40 Days in Mark’s Gospel – Day 40

Mark 16:8  “And the women went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had gripped them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.”

Some of the oldest biblical manuscripts — 4th century — have nothing beyond this verse.

It seems totally unacceptable. We all want the happily-ever-after ending. We all prefer the hero to succeed and the people to celebrate. A nice finish to a great story matters. We certainly don’t want the story to finish with a few scared women too afraid to say anything to anyone. What sort of ending is that?

CopiestVarious copiests throughout the centuries apparently shared our concern, so they added material. Some added a very short ending where the women found their tongues and told Peter and the disciples what they had seen. Some added a much longer ending that included appearances of Christ to the disciples and His commissioning of them to “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creation.”

But I like the original ending.

An entertaining story wraps up all of the loose ends and leaves us feeling good. A great story invites us into the drama. The original ending of Mark’s Gospel, the ending that stops the Gospel abruptly in its tracks, makes this a great story!

It shocks us. How could these women possibly be silent after the resurrection? How could they possibly be afraid, after all they had seen Jesus do? It seems ludicrous to think that they wouldn’t shout this news from the mountain-tops. This is not how it should end! This is plain wrong!

Our indignation rises. Our hearts begin to judge and accuse these faithless women. Scared? Silent? Unacceptable!

And just as I get worked up about this crazy ending, and these embarrassing women, I realize that the story has caught me unawares. It has slipped an unexpected knife between my ribs. And an unwritten question starts to take shape. What are you doing with the news of the risen Savior?

The Gospel story does not need wrapping paper and a big bow on the box; a long ending. Rather, it cries out for people who will cry it out. So many of us have grown timid about the truth.

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday. As we celebrate the risen Christ among us, let’s consider these women. The real ending to the Gospel story is being written in the 21st century and has your name in it.

Blessings this Easter to each of you!

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13 Responses to 40 Days in Mark’s Gospel – Day 40

  1. Scott says:

    Thanks for your blogs this Lenten Season David. Terrific insights and exhortations. May you and your family be well!

  2. Elaine says:

    Truly enjoyed the blogs this Lenten season. Thank you for the information and the encouragement.

  3. bryanhardwick says:

    I enjoyed your insights and perspective of Mark’s gospel during this season of Lent. Well done my friend. Thanks for your faithfulness and for sharing your journey with us.

  4. Jeff says:

    Blessings to you too David

  5. Mark Mayrand says:

    Thanks David for your efforts by posting the 40 days of Lent. Challenging & thought provoking. He is Risen!

    Mark Mayrand

    Sent from my iPhone


  6. Debbie Heim says:

    Blessing to you David. Thank you again for making Lent so memorable and inspiring!

  7. Shelley Bernard says:

    Hi Dr. Timms, First, I wanted to tell you how much I appreciated your series on Lent. I looked forward to each entry. They added a lot to my worship during Lent.

    Second, I wanted to share a video with you. Many people know how blessed I was through your book, Living the Lord’s Prayer. One of those friends, who is in the choir at my church, told me about this Swahili version of The Lord’s Prayer. It was originally written to be the title theme to a video game, but it’s become a hit in Christian music and the world of gaming. I really enjoyed it.

    Thanks again,Shelley Bernard (Eric Bernard’s mom) Christopher Tin – Baba Yetu (Official Music Video)

    |   | |   | |   |   |   |   |   | | Christopher Tin – Baba Yetu (Official Music Video) | | | | View on http://www.youtube.com | Preview by Yahoo | | | |   |

    • David Timms says:

      Shelley, thanks for your kind note. That’s a great piece of music! Thanks for sharing it. Warmest regards to Eric when you chat with him next. 🙂 Blessings this week.

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