1. And when the Sabbath was over, which was technically just after sunset, Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome went to purchase sweet-smelling spices that they could use to anoint the body of Jesus.
2. And very early, before the dawn of the first day of the week, they got up and went to the tomb. By the time they arrived, the sun had risen.
3. As they were entering the garden area, they said to one another, "One thing we haven't thought of...how are we going to roll back the stone that fits into the groove at the floor of the entrance to the tomb? Do you think we can find someone to help us move it?"
4. But even as they said these words while approaching the tomb, they looked up and saw clearly that the stone was already rolled back completely (which was remarkable because it was very large).
5. Amazed, they just walked right into the tomb without any hesitation. Once inside, they saw a young man calmly sitting there on the right side of where the body had been, clothed in a long, flowing robe of white. When they got a good look at him, they were stunned into a terrified silence.
6. The young man turned to them and said, "Ladies, there's absolutely nothing here to fear. You've come looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified, haven't you? Well...He's not here, at least not in the form to which you are accustomed. But He's very much alive! See...here's the place where they laid Him...
7. You should go now...there's nothing else here to see. Go...tell the disciples, including Peter, that He is going before you all into Galilee. You will be able to see Him there, just as He told you."
8. They didn't waste any time. They went out of the tomb in a frenzy...running as fast as they could...fluctuating between being in a state of shock and being in a state of hysterics. And they said nothing about it to anyone, because they were too excited...too panic-stricken...to even say a word!
*This is where Chapter 16 and the entire Gospel of Mark ends in all original manuscripts. Typically, The Gospels In The Now do not include non-original text, but to give the story proper closure, the author will make an exception...
9. Now Jesus, having freshly risen from death early on the first day of the week, appeared initially to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had expelled seven rebel spirits which had controlled her.
10. She went immediately and reported it to His followers...those who had been with Him in His earth-walk...as they were in complete grief mode, weeping and mourning.
11. And when they heard her news that He was alive and that she had actually seen Him, they didn't even consider the possibility of it...even though she was verifying exactly what He had told them would happen, they didn't believe it for a second.
12. Later He appeared in a different form to two of them as they were walking along the road into the country.
13. And after these two were finally somewhat convinced, they returned to Jerusalem and told the others, but they didn't believe them either.
14. So then He appeared to the remaining eleven apostles as they reclined at the table, and as soon as He manifested, He began to severely reprimand them for their unbelievable lack of faith, and the impenetrable hardness of their hearts. He rebuked them for refusing to believe those who had seen Him up close after He had risen from death.
15. But He said to them, "Here's My last word on this...one of you betrayed Me...one of you denied Me...all of you abandoned Me...none of you believed I was alive...but not one of you is disqualified because of what he did or didn't do. Now go into all the world and preach the good news of the Gospel to every creature of the entire human race!
16. Whoever believes the Gospel that you proclaim, and is baptized to demonstrate and act on their revelation of it will be delivered...but whoever misses the opportunity of faith...whoever doesn't believe the Gospel will invite unnecesary destruction into their lives.
17. And these signs of confirmation will accompany those who believe...in My name they will have authority to drive out rebel spirits...they will speak in new languages, and communicate My message in new and innovative Spirit-ways;
18. If a snake bites them while they're in this flow they won't be harmed by it at all, and if they accidentally drink anything poison, it won't hurt them. They will also lay their hands on the sick, and they will get well.
19. So then Jesus, after He had said all these things to them about their future, was translated into the heavenly realm...and He sat down in the place of God's authority.
20. And they were all energized and inspired to go out and preach everywhere, while the Master kept working with them and through them, continuously confirming the message by the attesting signs...the irrefutable evidence...brought about through the world of the miraculous which they created together. Amen - so be it!