Sunday, May 1, 2016

The Gospel of Mark: A Serving Savior / 2015-2016 Men's Bible Study / Lesson 23 - “Crucified” - Mark 15:40-16:8 (9-20)

Lesson 23  - “Crucified” -  Mark 15:40-16:8 (9-20)
ID: Inductive Questions (Asking the text questions like who, what, where, when, why, & how?”)
CR: Cross References (Comparing Scripture to Scripture, understanding the vague by the clear.)
WS: Word Study (Understanding definition, theological meaning, and usages in other passages.)
The WORD: What does the Bible say?
Context:  Read Mark 15:40-16:20 to help understand the context of this passage.  Read Mark 15:40-16:8 in a more literal or more dynamic translation than you usually use.  While there is some question about the validity of verses 9-20, we should avoid being too distracted by this question. 
1.     CR/ID: (15:43, 45-46)  What do we learn about Joseph of Arimathea?  (Luke 23:50; John 19:38)  Why was Pilate surprised to hear that Jesus was dead?
2.     WS/CR: (15:46-47)  Who was involved in the burial?  Who observed where Jesus’ body was buried?  Use a concordance, Bible dictionary, and/or Bible encyclopedia to find out who they were.
3.     ID: (16:1-3) Who came to the tomb in the morning?  What problem were they concerned about?
4.     ID: (16:6) What did the women find when they entered to tomb?  Why do you think the women were surprised to see the tomb empty?  When had Jesus told His followers about His death and resurrection?
5.     ID: (16:7-8)  What were the women told to do?  Why do you think were they afraid?
Though verses 9-20 are present in the majority of the texts, two of the oldest manuscripts end with verse eight.  As a result, most current evangelical scholars believe that verse eight is the last verse we can be certain was part of the original text written by Mark.  (see the links one the second page)  How would the abrupt ending fit with the tone and theme of Mark’s account of Christ’s death and resurrection?
6.     CR: (16:9-14)  To whom do verses 9-14 say Jesus appeared?  Verse 15 contains Mark’s version of the “Great Commission.”  How does it compare with the ones in the other synoptic Gospels?  (Matthew 28:18-19; Luke 24:44-48)  Verses 17-18 allude to several “signs” that would follow.  Can you think of times in the book of Acts when any of these occurred?
The WALK: What should I do?
1.     Mark provides several details to confirm Jesus physically died and rose.  Why was this important?
2.     How risky do you think it was for Joseph of Arimathea to ask for Jesus’ body?  What is the riskiest think you have ever done because of your faith in Christ?  What gave you courage to do it?
3.     Who is Jesus sending you to with the news of Christ’s resurrection?
4.     What would prevent you from reading through the Gospel of Mark with an unbeliever or new Christian?
5.     Where in this passage do we see Gospel truths about God, Man, Christ, and our response?  Have your sins been forgiven?
Going Beyond:  1.  Read through the Gospel of Mark with an unbeliever or a new believer.
2.  Utilize the book One to One Bible Reading or David Helm’s online training sessions to improve your effectiveness.
3. What areas of theology are touched on in this passage?  q The Bible   q God  q God the Father   q Jesus Christ    q The Holy Spirit    q Man   q Salvation   q The Church   q Angels & Satan   q Future Things –
Answer: Joseph of Arimathea was a biblical figure who played an important role in the burial of Jesus Christ.  His account can be found in each of the four Gospels: Matthew 27:57–60; Mark 15:42–46; Luke 23:50–53; and John 19:38–42.  He is called “Joseph of Arimathea” because “he came from the Judean town of Arimathea” (Luke 23:51) and to distinguish him from other Josephs in the Bible.
While there is not much information in the Bible about Joseph of Arimathea, there are certain things we can glean from the text.  In Luke 23:50, we learn that Joseph was actually a part of the Council, or Sanhedrin—the group of Jewish religious leaders who called for Jesus’ crucifixion.  However, as we read on to verse 51, we see that Joseph was opposed to the Council’s decision and was in fact a secret follower of Jesus (see also Mark 15:43).  Joseph was a wealthy man (Matthew 27:57), although the source of his wealth is unknown.  In addition, the Bible refers to Joseph as a “good and upright man” (Luke 23:50).
After Jesus’ death on the cross, Joseph, at great risk to himself and his reputation, went to the Roman governor Pilate to request Jesus’ body. Nicodemus, the Pharisee who had visited Jesus at night to ask questions about God’s Kingdom (John 19:39; cf. John 3), accompanied Joseph.  The two men were granted custody of Jesus’ body, and they immediately began to prepare the body for burial.  Following Jewish custom, they wrapped the body in strips of linen and mixed in myrrh and aloe.  However, it was the Day of Preparation—the sixth day of the week, just before the Jewish Sabbath—and it was late in the day.  So Joseph and Nicodemus hurriedly placed Jesus in Joseph’s own tomb, located in a garden near the place of Jesus’ crucifixion.
Unbeknownst to Joseph and Nicodemus, their choice to put Jesus in Joseph’s tomb fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy spoken hundreds of years before Jesus’ death: “He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth” (Isaiah 53:9, emphasis added).  This is one of the many prophecies that have confirmed Jesus’ identity as the Messiah and Son of God.
The day after Jesus’ burial, the chief priests and Pharisees went to Pilate to request that the stone Joseph had placed in front of the tomb be sealed, and a guard posted, for three days.  They cited Jesus’ assertion that He would rise after three days and claimed the disciples might attempt to steal the body in order to fabricate a resurrection (Matthew 27:63–64).  Their precautions were for naught, as Jesus rose from the dead on the third day, just as He had predicted (Matthew 28).
Many spurious stories and legends have arisen regarding Joseph.  Some purport that Joseph of Arimathea was the uncle of Jesus’ mother, Mary.  However, the Bible makes no such connection, so the claim is unsubstantiated.  In addition, Joseph supposedly made many trips to Britain for trade and is said to have eventually brought the gospel to that country.  Again, though, the Bible is silent about Joseph after Jesus’ burial, so we cannot know for sure what path he took later in life.  What we do know is what we find in the Scriptures: Joseph of Arimathea was a rich man and part of the Sanhedrin, and he procured Jesus’ body and laid it in his own tomb—from which Jesus would rise again in power three days later.
Recommended Resources: The Great Lives from God's Word Series by Chuck Swindoll and Logos Bible Software.

·       Most evangelical study bibles include a note
·       Dr. John MacArthur’s defends the shorter ending in his sermon, “The Fitting End to Mark’s Gospel.”
·       Dr. David Miller presents arguments in favor of the longer reading in a lengthy article, “Is Mark 16:9-20 Inspired?” on the Apologetics Press website.

Lesson 23 (Last lesson in this series!)  Mark 15:40-16:8 (9-20)

1. This is a foundational question since we want to develop the idea Joseph’s courage for the Walk section.
2. Identify who the characters were.  You may even want to compare Mark’s list with those in the other Gospels.
3 & 4 are basically observation questions.
5-6.  You are probably aware that there is some doubt about the authenticity of Mark 16:9-20.  This really does not affect any doctrine, etc. so it is probably not a big deal either way.  Most versions note that there are problems with the longer reading. 
I have included a questions about Mark’s point with the shorter reading.  It would be worth discussing. 
I have also included some questions from the longer reading.  Use your judgment about whether your group will use them.
DO NOT get into a long involved discussion about textual criticism or make anybody feel uncomfortable because they do or don’t except the longer reading.

2 – 4  Let’s use the courageous example of Joseph to motivate us to actively look for an opportunity to read through the book of Mark with an unbeliever or new believer.  I have links to two resources.  If you have any questions about this, contact Bob Nichols.  He would love to talk with you about it.)

You might consider having the men get copies of the book and spend a couple weeks discussing and praying about it. 

At the very least have your men think of some prospects that might ask to read through the Gospel of Mark with them.

1.  I have a short article about Joseph of Arimathea.
2. There are links to a book about the ending of Mark and a link to arguments against and for the longer reading.

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