Mark 16:1-5

Mark 16:1 (KJB)
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.

The seventh day sabbath was now coming to an end and it was getting toward dawn on Sunday morning. Mary Magdalene and Mary, the wife of Cleopas, had decided to go to the sepulchre and complete the anointing of the body of Jesus. The time frame was just before dawn and the sun may have turned the sky from black to purple. Little did they know it, that they were about to experience the greatest day in the recorded history of man. Each of the gospel writers wrote about a different aspect of the resurrection as the day unfolded. There was soon going to be much activity and Jerusalem would once again be buzzing with rumors and stories. It is not recorded as to whether the Pharisees or Sadducees had visited the tomb to confirm what they would eventually hear.

Mark 16:2 (KJB)
And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.

The reason that the church meets on Sunday is to commemorate the Lord’s resurrection plus it is the new era of Sabbaths being changed from Saturday to Sunday. It was now very early in the morning on Sunday. They had arrived at the sepulchre just as the sun was rising. Sunday was to be set apart as the day of corporate worship for the church.

Mark 16:3 (KJB)
And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?

On the way to the tomb, the women had started to ask about the major difficulty they would face and that is who will roll the stone away from the entrance to the tomb. It would have been a very heavy stone probably in the shape of a millstone and would have taken several very strong men to move it and they would have been unable to move it on their own. The fact that they spoke among themselves means they did not have any contact with the disciples since before the crucifixion.

Mark 16:4 (KJB)
And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.

“When they looked” carries with it the idea that they now looked up. On their way to the tomb they no doubt were keeping their head down watching where they were walking so they would not drop any of the anointing spices. Once they arrived at the tomb, they looked up and saw that the stone was rolled away from the entrance to the tomb. The phrase “for it was very great” refers back to the previous verse when they were describing the immensity of the stone and their dilemma about finding a way to move it. The stones were great to prevent grave robbing and to prevent any movement of it in case of an earthquake.

Mark 16:5 (KJB)
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.

The fact that they were able to enter into the sepulchre meant it was a big tomb. Joseph may have had a large family and needed a larger tomb. When they entered they immediately saw a young man sitting there on the right side. (Mat 28:3 KJV) His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: This was an angel of the Lord sent to the women and to the disciples. His appearance had frightened them and at that moment they were unable to grasp what was happening. Was it a vision or was it a real visitation?