Verse of the Day Devotion. Mark 16:11.
And when they heard that He was alive, and had been seen by her, they refused to believe it. – Mark 16:11
When the Sabbath was over, they were then able to prepare the body of Christ for burial. “And when the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him.” Mark 16:1. This was not done to prevent bodily decay, as was the custom in Egypt, but to perfume the decaying corpse as an act of devotion. This was brought on Sunday, the first day of the week, after the Sabbath, and after the sun arose. And while they were traveling, they were asking one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb? And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away, although it was extremely large.” Mark 16:3-4. They had seen the stone put in place, with a seal placed on the stone and soldiers placed there to ensure no one took the body out and declare a resurrection.
However, when they arrived, they saw the stone was already rolled away, “And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away, although it was extremely large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe; and they were amazed. And he said to them, Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples and Peter, He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He said to you.” Mark 16:4-7. When they got there, the stone was already rolled away. So they enter and see a young man sitting there on the right side, with a white robe on. Joseph, whose tomb this was, and who closed the tomb was not there. He would not have been able to do this alone but would have had servants and slaves to aid in this. Therefore, because of the size of the stone, a young man alone could not have opened the tomb.
Then the young man says to them. “Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples and Peter, He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He said to you.” Mark 16:6-7. This young man confirms he is not Jesus. Then He tells them that Jesus has risen from the dead as promised, and they are to go to the disciples and Peter, that He is on His way to Galilee.
It is remarkable that Peter is singled out for special notice, and it was proof of the kindness and mercy of the Lord Jesus. Peter, just before the death of Jesus, had denied him: not once or twice, but three times. Peter would have understood if Jesus had from that moment cast him off and noticed him no more. But he still loved him. And having loved him once, he loved him unto the end. And as proof that he forgave him and still loved him, he sent him this ‘special’ message, the assurance that though he had denied him, and had done much to aggravate his sufferings. And because He had risen He was still his Lord and Redeemer. We are not to infer because the angel said, “Tell his disciples and Peter,” that Peter was no longer a disciple.
The meaning was they were to tell his disciples, and especially Peter, sending him a particular message. Before his fall, Jesus had prayed for him that his faith should not fail. “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers. And he said to Him, Lord, with You I am ready to go both to prison and to death! And He said, I say to you, Peter, the cock will not crow today until you have denied three times that you know Me.” Luke 22:31-34.
Now, after hearing what the young man said, those who were there left and told the disciples what they saw and what the young man said. “She went and reported to those who had been with Him, while they were mourning and weeping. And when they heard that He was alive, and had been seen by her, they refused to believe it.” Mark 16:10-11. When they were told all these things, they did not believe. They had been mourning His death and were unable to accept what they heard.
Then Jesus appears to the eleven. “And afterward He appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table; and He reproached them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who had seen Him after He had risen.” Mark 16:14. And then He shows His grace and forgiveness by giving them a calling to serve Him. “And He said to them, Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” Mark 16:15. Even though they lacked belief in His declaration He would rise from the dead, He knew their hearts. They had not given up on Him, they simply had a short time of struggling to believe He was alive again.
Jesus did not give up on them, for He knew their hearts. Judas turned Him in because of true unbelief, but the other eleven had a period of unbelief, but realized their doubt was wrong when Jesus met with them. And we may fall into a period of doubt now and then, but when this happens, we must go to Christ and ask for assistance in overcoming our period of doubt. And just as He helped the eleven through their period of doubt, He will help us. If we believe that Christianity is 100% true, then we must hold this truth, sometimes with His help. Do not give up but let Him guide you. He is willing and able to bring you through any difficulties you may find yourself in.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.