Mark 16:1-8

Commentary Excerpt by Tom Boomershine

This story is seen and told from the perspective of the women. It is a description of their interior experience. It is a very quiet story that focuses on their perspective throughout the entire story. It begins with their grief as they prepare to go out and anoint Jesus. On the way they discuss, "Who will roll away the stone for us?" There is a major surprise at the stone being rolled away. The women thought they were going to have to find someone who could roll the stone back. They expected to find someone to help them, but they did not expect that the stone would already be rolled back.

Finding a young man in the tomb is also a surprise. He is sitting at the right hand—the place of power—and is clothed in a white robe. The white robe is a clear allusion to his identity as an angel, a divine messenger. However, Mark does not say that he is an angel,as happens in Matthew and Mark. The women are alarmed and amazed at his presence.

After the young man's announcement, the focus is on the women's response: terror,amazement, trembling, astonishment, fear. The telling of this story needs to convey as much as possible those emotions in a quiet and non-demonstrative way. In telling the story, the most important character is the young man. He is the only one who has speeches in this part of the story. It is the voice of a young man speaking very quietly in the tomb to women whom he knows are overwhelmed with grief. You will want to work on the voice of the young man in your telling preparation. He is supremely confident, authoritative, clear, but also compassionate.

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