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16. The Resurrection

1And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, that they might come and anoint him. 2And very early on the first day of the week, they come to the tomb when the sun was risen. 3And they were saying among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the tomb? 4and looking up, they see that the stone is rolled back: for it was exceeding great. 5And entering into the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, arrayed in a white robe; and they were amazed. 6And he saith unto them, Be not amazed: ye seek Jesus, the Nazarene, who hath been crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold, the place where they laid him! 7But go, tell his disciples and Peter, He goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. 8And they went out, and fled from the tomb; for trembling and astonishment had come upon them: and they said nothing to any one; for they were afraid. 9Now when he was risen early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. 10She went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept. 11And they, when they heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, disbelieved. 12And after these things he was manifested in another form unto two of them, as they walked, on their way into the country. 13And they went away and told it unto the rest: neither believed they them. 14And afterward he was manifested unto the eleven themselves as they sat at meat; and he upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them that had seen him after he was risen. 15And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation. 16He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned. 17And these signs shall accompany them that believe: in my name shall they cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues; 18they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall in no wise hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. 19So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken unto them, was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. 20And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word by the signs that followed. Amen.

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Mark 16:14. Afterwards he appeared to the eleven, while they were sitting. The participle (ἀνακειμένοις) which some have rendered sitting at table, ought, in my opinion, to be simply rendered sitting; and it is not without reason that I take this view of it, if it be agreed that the Evangelist here describes the first appearance; for it would have been an unseasonable hour of supper about midnight. Besides, if the cloth had been laid, 322322     “Si la nappe eust esté mise.” this would not have agreed with what Luke shortly afterwards says, that Christ asked if they had anything to eat. Now, to sit is the Hebrew phrase for resting in any place.

And upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart. This reproof corresponds more to the first appearance than to the second; for since, the disciples, as John tells us, (20:20) were glad when they had seen the Lord on the day after the Passover, their unbelief was then rebuked. To restrict these words of Mark to Thomas alone, as some have done, appears to be forced; and, therefore, I prefer to explain them simply as meaning, that when Christ first appeared to the apostles, he reproved them for not believing the testimony of eye-witnesses, who informed them of his resurrection. And yet when he condemns their hardness of heart, it is not solely because they did not give credit to men, but because, after having been convinced by the result, they did not at length embrace the testimony of the Lord. Since, therefore, Peter and Mary, Cleopas and his companion, were not the first witnesses of the resurrection, but only subscribed to the words of Christ, it follows, that the rest of the apostles poured dishonor on the Lord by refusing to believe his words, though they had already been proved by their result. Justly, therefore, are they reproached with hardness of heart, because, in addition to their slowness, there was wicked obstinacy; as if they had intentionally desired to suppress what was evidently true; not that they intended to extinguish the glory of their Master, or to accuse him of falsehood, but because their obstinacy stood in the way, and hindered them from being submissive. In short, he does not here condemn them for voluntary obstinacy, as I have already said, but for blind indifference, which sometimes hardens men that otherwise are not wicked or rebellious.




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