What Jesus Did! 'Settling in on Death's Necessities' — Mark 16:1

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Saturday evening, when the Sabbath ended, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome went out and purchased burial spices so they could anoint Jesus' body.
— Mark 16:1 NLT

Key Thought

Death brings with it harsh realities. The physical absence of the person who died and the decay of the physical body are two of the harshest. The women in today's verse were doing what was expected and what was necessary when a loved one in Jesus' day died. At the time, people showed their honor and respect by preparing the dead body properly. When people we love die, there are necessities that have to be handled. As difficult as these necessities are, they help reinforce that the person is gone from us. Our emotions settle in on the absence of that person and all that it means. The toughest reality about grief is that the only way past it is to go through it. Though not ready to give up Jesus to death, these women did what was necessary — both for the dead body and for their aching spirits — by preparing to take care of the body properly.

Today's Prayer

O Father, to lose a loved one is so terribly difficult, especially for those who have lost loved ones to death during this time of year. Please give your blessings and sustaining grace through this time. Help us to take comfort and find hope that victory and reunion await those who belong to Christ. Give those who are mourning strength and courage to hold on to that hope — a hope that is ours because your Son came to earth as one of us, died as one of us, and was raised as the first of us to permanently defeat death. For this victory, I thank you. In Jesus' mighty name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Colossians 1:11-14
  • 1 Corinthians 15:20
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:14


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Illustration of Mark 16:1 NLT — Saturday evening, when the Sabbath ended, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome went out and purchased burial spices so they could anoint Jesus' body.

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.