1. Mark 15:40–16:8 (ESV)
  2. Structure and outline

Certain aspects about Jesus' followers revealed in the structure of Mark 15:40—16:8

Mark 15:40–16:8 (ESV)

40 There were also women looking on from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome.

In Mark 15:40 – 16:8 we come to the final section of Mark’s Gospel, which relates Jesus’ burial (Mark 15:40–47) and his resurrection (Mark 16:1–8). This pericope appears to be a final Markan sandwich:

  • Three women watch Jesus from afar (Mark 15:40–41).

  • A courageous man comes to bury Jesus (Mark 15:42–46).

  • Three women watch where Jesus is buried from afar and run away after seeing an angel (Mark 15:47 – 16:8).

Of interest in this structure is the way in which fear appears to be contrasted with faith. The women watch Jesus’ crucifixion from afar, they see where he is buried from afar, and they are frightened when they hear of his resurrection. In contrast with their fear, Joseph of Arimathea is brave and courageous. He is willing to be associated with Jesus when he goes to ask for his body so that he can bury him.