Matthew Poole's Commentary
And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.Mark 15:1-8 Christ’s resurrection is declared by angels to the
two Marys and Salome.
Mark 15:9-11 Christ himself appeareth to Mary Magdalene,
Mark 15:12,13 to two of his disciples going into the country,
Mark 15:14-18 and to the eleven; whom he commissions to preach
the gospel to all the world.
Mark 15:19,20 His ascension into heaven; the gospel is preached
every where, the Lord confirming the word with signs.
We are now come to the history of our Saviour’s resurrection, his several appearances to and converse with his disciples, from the time of his rising from the dead unto the time of his ascension up into heaven, which was forty days. Of all the evangelists, St. John is most full in his relation of this part of the history of our Saviour, which we shall consider in order; for his two last chapters are wholly spent in this part of the history: in the mean time, as we did in our notes on Matthew 28:1-20 take notice only of what Matthew hath upon that argument; so we shall, in the opening of this chapter of Mark, take notice only of what Mark hath not concurrent with, and completory of, what Matthew had before said (for what he hath of that nature, we shall refer the reader to our notes on Matthew). See Poole on "Matthew 28:1", and following verses to Matthew 28:20. And here we will also take in what Luke hath that tends to the fuller relation of any thing which Mark hath; not meddling with what John hath, but reserving that till we come to open the fuller account of this whole history, in the twentieth and twenty-first chapters of his Gospel.
Ver. 1,2. Matthew saith, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week. John saith, they came early, when it was yet dark. Luke also saith, very early. But it is manifest from the history, that they came a second time, of which Mark may speak, passing over their first coming.
And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.See Poole on "Mark 16:1"
And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?Ver. 3,4. These were their thoughts as they were coming. Concerning the guard which they had set by Pilate’s permission at the importunity of the Jewish priests and rulers, it is probable (the day before being the Jewish sabbath, in the observation of which the Jews were very strict) they had not heard, so were not solicitious as to them; but they knew of the stone rolled to the mouth of the sepulchre: but they were in vain solicitous; when they came they found the stone rolled away, Christ was risen before.
And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.See Poole on "Mark 16:3"
And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.Ver. 5-8. Both Luke and John mention two angels in the habit of young men. Matthew speaks of one sitting upon the stone. They might see him sitting upon the stone, and yet find him within also, the motions of angels are quick and undiscernible to our sense, or the stone might be rolled inward. That they were affrighted is no wonder, considering how apt we are to be frightened by any apparitions. Concerning what the angel said to these women, See Poole on "Matthew 28:5", and following verses to Matthew 28:8. They presently flee from the sepulchre amazed, saying nothing to any till they came into the city, where they tell it to the disciples.
And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.See Poole on "Mark 16:5"
But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.See Poole on "Mark 16:5"
And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.See Poole on "Mark 16:5"
Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.Ver. 9-11. Concerning this appearance of Christ to Mary Magdalene,
See Poole on "Matthew 28:9", See Poole on "John 20:14", and following verses to John 20:17 who gives a more full account than any other of this appearance.
And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept.See Poole on "Mark 16:9"
And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.See Poole on "Mark 16:9"
After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.Ver. 12,13. Of this appearance St. Luke gives us a very large account, Luke 24:13-35.
See Poole on "Luke 24:13", and following verses to Luke 24:35.
And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them.See Poole on "Mark 16:12"
Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.This most probably is the appearance mentioned Luke 24:36 John 20:19. See Poole on "Luke 24:36". See Poole on "John 20:19".
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.Ver. 15-18. See Poole on "Matthew 28:19". See Poole on "Matthew 28:20", where what we have here is largely explained.
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.See Poole on "Mark 16:15"
And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;See Poole on "Mark 16:15"
They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.See Poole on "Mark 16:15"
So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.Matthew saith nothing of our Saviour’s ascension. Mark speaketh of it very shortly. Luke saith, And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And again gives us this part of this history most fully, Acts 1:1-12. We shall in our notes on Luke 24:51-53 speak more fully to this. We are told, Acts 1:3, that Christ was forty days upon the earth after his resurrection, and, Acts 1:9, that a cloud did receive him. He is said to sit on the right hand of God, to distinguish him from angels, whose places are but places of ministration.
And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.Here is now the history of a great deal of following time, shortly epitomized in one verse. The first motion of the eleven was to Jerusalem, Luke 24:52, and this was according to the express command of Christ, Luke 24:49. There they were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God, Luke 24:53. At Jerusalem they went into an upper room, Acts 1:12,13. There they continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, Acts 1:14, and chose Matthias for the twelfth apostle. The Holy Ghost came upon them, Acts 2:4. Still they continued preaching to the Jews, till the Jews, by their unbelief and persecution, judging themselves unworthy of eternal life, they turned to the Gentiles, Acts 13:46. Of God
confirming their word, that is, his word spoken by them,
with signs following, the whole history of the Acts of the Apostles is an abundant proof.