Mark 16:1-8 | Discussion Questions

MARK 16:1-8

Preached at SoBo on November 13, NM on November 20, 2022



Share a moment when you encountered the unexpected and were pleasantly surprised.

In our passage, the two Marys go to perform burial rites for Jesus and are shocked to find the tomb open. A man tells them that the crucified Jesus has been resurrected. He then instructs them to go to the disciples to notify them that Jesus will be in Galilee. They are completely aghast! 


MARK 16:1-8
1 When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. 2 And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. 3 And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” 4 And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back—it was very large. 5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. 6 And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.” 8 And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.


  • Begin by examining the text together. What do you notice? What stands out? What is unexpected? Who are the main characters? What is surprising? 1
  • Fear, surprise, and reassurance are key themes in the narrative (v5, 6, 8). Why is this?
  • 1 Corinthians 15:6 reveals that more than 500 other Christians saw the risen Jesus. Why was it essential for the disciples to see Jesus and to be the first to do so? Why was it critical that Jesus was seen after the resurrection?


  • Do you find the resurrection hard to believe? Why/why not?
  • How have your experiences of sharing the gospel been, particularly when communicating about the resurrection?
  • How can we have confidence in the resurrection?
  • What does the resurrection of Jesus mean for you now? Feel free to use other New Testament passages to explain these things.
  • What does the resurrection mean for the future? Feel free to use other New Testament passages to explain these things.


Based on the Nicene Creed, written by early Christians in 325 AD
Father God, we thank you for Jesus. We thank you that for us and for our salvation he came down from heaven; that he became incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary, and was made human. We thank you that he endured crucifixion for us under Pontius Pilate; that he suffered and was buried. We praise you that on the third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures. We praise you that he ascended to heaven and is seated at your right hand. We believe and trust that he will come again with glory to judge the living and the dead. We thank you that his perfect kingdom of peace and justice will never end. Please help us to wait with patience and endurance as we anticipate this day. Amen.
Example Observations:
  • The main characters are Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of Jesus, and a man.
  • The man is likely an angel given his formal dress and presence in the tomb - he says “do not be alarmed” - a common phrase in the Bible associated with angels.
  • The women are completely shocked. They had expected Jesus to be dead in the tomb.
  • Out of terror, the women react dramatically to the news that Jesus has risen from the dead. They are afraid and confused!
  • The angel knows the identity of the dead man who was supposed to be in the tomb, and how he died.
  • The angel knows that the man had disciples and one was called Peter.
  • The angel was sent from God to instruct the Marys to inform the disciples so that they could go and meet with the risen Jesus.
  • The disciples’ meeting with Jesus was part of the verification and witness of the resurrection.