Discussion Questions: Mark 16:1-8

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  1. In the first century, women had no legal status and their testimony was inadmissible in court due to the “levity – or frivolity – and boldness” of their gender. They were often put in the same category as slaves. This is why Jesus’ positive and inclusive treatment of women was so radical at the time. Why do you think Mark documented two women – Mary Magdalene and Salome, whose testimonies would not have even been admissible in court – as the first ones to arrive at Jesus’ tomb? What is the significance of this?
  2. What are Mary Magdalene and Salome discussing in verse 3? Based on their actions up to this point, is there any indication they believe Jesus might not be in the tomb? Why or why not?
  3. Jesus had predicted His own resurrection many times. His followers knew these predictions well. (Matthew 16:21; Matthew 27:62-64) Yet the women were still approaching the tomb as though He would be in it. Are there any promises God has made to you in which you lack confidence or faith? Are there any areas of your life that reflect unbelief in what God has said He will do?
  4. Even in their unbelief that He would resurrect from the dead, Mary Magdalene and Salome were faithful to love and worship Jesus, bringing spices they had bought to anoint Him, unfazed by the challenges of entering a possibly closed tomb. They were the last at the crucifixion and the first at the tomb. Because they showed up, they discovered He had been telling the truth all along. They became believers in the resurrection when they met the man in white. What does it look like for you to love Jesus and to worship Him in spite of your unbelief, in spite of your uncertainty? What does it look like for you to continue “showing up,” even when you are disappointed that things haven’t turned out the way you hoped?
  5. Could you describe a moment in your life when God met you in your weakness and unbelief and showed you who He really is? Were you terrified, as the women were? How did you respond?
  6. What is the first command given to the women upon seeing that Jesus has risen? What might we learn from this command today?
  7. Why does the man in white refer to, “His disciples and Peter,” rather than simply, “His disciples?”
  8. “He has risen; He is not here,” is perhaps the most hope-filled, joy-filled, space and time-altering statements in the history of the universe. Why? How has the truth of the resurrection impacted you personally?
  9. Read Colossians 3:1-4. Meditate on how you have been raised with Christ. Spend some time thanking Him for the truth of the Gospel. Ask Him what earthly things might be pushing out the “things above” we’re called to set our minds upon. Dwell on the things above. He has risen; He is not here.