Mark 16

* Christ's resurrection made known the women. (1-8) Christ

appears to Mary Magdalene and other disciples. (9-13) His

commission to the apostles. (14-18) Christ's ascension. (19,20)

1-8 Nicodemus brought a large quantity of spices, but these

good women did not think that enough. The respect others show to

Christ, should not hinder us from showing our respect. And those

who are carried by holy zeal, to seek Christ diligently, will

find the difficulties in their way speedily vanish. When we put

ourselves to trouble and expense, from love to Christ, we shall

be accepted, though our endeavours are not successful. The sight

of the angel might justly have encouraged them, but they were

affrighted. Thus many times that which should be matter of

comfort to us, through our own mistake, proves a terror to us.

He was crucified, but he is glorified. He is risen, he is not

here, not dead, but alive again; hereafter you will see him, but

you may here see the place where he was laid. Thus seasonable

comforts will be sent to those that lament after the Lord Jesus.

Peter is particularly named, Tell Peter; it will be most welcome

to him, for he is in sorrow for sin. A sight of Christ will be

very welcome to a true penitent, and a true penitent is very

welcome to a sight of Christ. The men ran with all the haste

they could to the disciples; but disquieting fears often hinder

us from doing that service to Christ and to the souls of men,

which, if faith and the joy of faith were strong, we might do.
9-13 Better news cannot be brought to disciples in tears, than

to tell them of Christ's resurrection. And we should study to

comfort disciples that are mourners, by telling them whatever we

have seen of Christ. It was a wise providence that the proofs of

Christ's resurrection were given gradually, and admitted

cautiously, that the assurance with which the apostles preached

this doctrine afterwards might the more satisfy. Yet how slowly

do we admit the consolations which the word of God holds forth!

Therefore while Christ comforts his people, he often sees it

needful to rebuke and correct them for hardness of heart in

distrusting his promise, as well as in not obeying his holy

precepts.
14-18 The evidences of the truth of the gospel are so full,

that those who receive it not, may justly be upbraided with

their unbelief. Our blessed Lord renewed his choice of the

eleven as his apostles, and commissioned them to go into all the

world, to preach his gospel to every creature. Only he that is a

true Christian shall be saved through Christ. Simon Magus

professed to believe, and was baptized, yet he was declared to

be in the bonds of iniquity: see his history in #Ac 8:13-25|.

Doubtless this is a solemn declaration of that true faith which

receives Christ in all his characters and offices, and for all

the purposes of salvation, and which produces its right effect

on the heart and life; not a mere assent, which is a dead faith,

and cannot profit. The commission of Christ's ministers extends

to every creature throughout the world, and the declarations of

the gospel contain not only truths, encouragements, and

precepts, but also most awful warnings. Observe what power the

apostles should be endued with, for confirming the doctrine they

were to preach. These were miracles to confirm the truth of the

gospel, and means of spreading the gospel among nations that had

not heard it.
19,20 After the Lord had spoken he went up into heaven. Sitting

is a posture of rest, he had finished his work; and a posture of

rule, he took possession of his kingdom. He sat at the right

hand of God, which denotes his sovereign dignity and universal

power. Whatever God does concerning us, gives to us, or accepts

from us, it is by his Son. Now he is glorified with the glory he

had before the world. The apostles went forth, and preached

every where, far and near. Though the doctrine they preached was

spiritual and heavenly, and directly contrary to the spirit and

temper of the world; though it met with much opposition, and was

wholly destitute of all worldly supports and advantages; yet in

a few years the sound went forth unto the ends of the earth.

Christ's ministers do not now need to work miracles to prove

their message; the Scriptures are proved to be of Divine origin,

and this renders those without excuse who reject or neglect

them. The effects of the gospel, when faithfully preached, and

truly believed, in changing the tempers and characters of

mankind, form a constant proof, a miraculous proof, that the

gospel is the power of God unto salvation, of all who believe.
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