Final Words

John Koedyker

Read: Mark 16:9-20 Afterward he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at table, and he rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed. (v. 14) Although these final words of Mark’s Gospel appear to be a later addition (because the oldest manuscripts do not have them), they are still words worth paying attention to. What is really striking is that three times it mentions the followers of Jesus not believing that …

The Resurrection

John Koedyker

Read: Mark 16:1-8 He has risen; he is not here. (v. 6) This morning, Christians around the world are greeting each other with these words: “He is risen!” “He is risen, indeed!” They are affirming the truth of the resurrection and its life-changing power. The women who went to the tomb that morning had been at Golgotha. They saw Jesus suffer and die. They went to the tomb to finish preparing for Jesus’ burial. But they were shocked to encounter …

What Changed Joseph

John Koedyker

Read: Mark 15:42-47 Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. (v. 43) One of the great hymns of Christ’s passion is “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.” Isaac Watts may not have had Joseph of Arimathea in mind when he wrote this hymn, but its title seems to describe exactly what this respected member of …

Crying Out in the Dark

John Koedyker

Read: Mark 15:33-37 At the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice. (v. 34) It was a dark day, the day we call Good Friday. As Jesus hung on the cross and darkness descended over Jerusalem for three hours, it was almost as if nature itself was in mourning for what was taking place. In the middle of this darkness, Mark tells us that Jesus cries aloud two times. His first cry contained the words, “My God, my God, …

A Love without Limits

John Koedyker

Read: Mark 15:29-32 And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!” (vv. 29-30) As we see in Luke’s Gospel, while Jesus was being crucified, he said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Those who crucified him—and there were many guilty parties—not only didn’t know what they were doing; they …

Mocking Jesus

John Koedyker

Read: Mark 15:16-30 And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. (v. 20) The Apostles’ Creed tells us that Jesus “suffered under Pontius Pilate.” One of the most deeply emotional ways that Jesus suffered was at the hands of the Roman soldiers. Today’s verses tell us that these ruffians “clothed him in a purple cloak, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on him.” Then …