St. Edmund's Church, Crickhowell

Encounters with Jesus -

The Last Encounter

Key Concept


This study is unique among all the encounters we have looked at because Jesus doesn't appear at all. As the young man said, "He is going ahead of you."


Have you ever arrived at a place and found it quite different from what you had expected? As Danny Abse found in his "Return Journey"  to Cardiff:

the mile-wide Taff now a stream, the castle not as in some black,
gothic dream, but a decent sprawl, a joker's toy façade.

What was your experience? Disappointment or suprise?


Read Mark 15:42 - 16:8.

Joseph of Arimathea

Most of the men involved in the final part of the life of Jesus do not emerge in a very good light. But there is one exception.

  1. What did it mean for Joseph to take the actions he did?
  2. What can we learn from him?

The women

  1. What qualities do we see in this group of women?
  2. Are they specifically female qualities or can we all learn from them?

The empty tomb

A number of suggestions have been offered to explain the empty tomb:

  1. The disciples stole the body.
  2. The women went to the wrong tomb.
  3. Jesus wasn't really dead when he was placed in the tomb and he recovered.
  4. Jesus rose from the dead and subsequently appeared to his disciples in some sort of 'bodily' form.

Stuart Blanch discusses these in his book, but before the leader tells you what he wrote, what do you think?

The young man

All we know about this chap is contained in verse 5. Who was he?

  1. An angel?
  2. Mark himself, reunited with his robe? (See Mark 14: 51 & 52)

Much more important than who he was, was what he said.

  1. (v6)"He has risen! He is not here." What impact would those words have on the women?
  2. What impact do they have on you?
  3. (v7) Is Jesus always going on ahead of us, either as individual people or as a church?

The End?

Almost no-one thinks that Mark wrote verses 9 - 20 of chapter 16. They were probably cobbled together at a later date to provide a tidier ending.

  1. Is there anything you wouls miss from them?
  2. Anything you are glad to be rid of?

If verse 8 has the last words written by Mark available to us then did he finish there or did the ending that he did write go missing? We will never know.

  1. Would it be satisfactory to you if the gospel ends here?
  2. Is it satisfactory that the series ends here?


If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
[1 Corinthians 15: 19 KJV]

Well we haven't, have we? So we're not, are we? Let's celebrate and gives thanks!


10/10   pgm   Last updated 29.11.2004