Mark’s Gospel ends abruptly! You’ll see there’s a note about some extra verses that may have been added later, to make it feel more finished, perhaps.
Mark is the most fast-paced of the gospels, Jesus driven, compelled to complete his father’s command, face fixed to Jerusalem, nothing by accident, all a marvelous plan from Him ‘who does all things well’. Mark, written it’s believed for Roman Christians under harsh persecution, very likely to be on a path that would lead to their death, just like Jesus in this gospel. So this gospel is first written for those suffering for their faith, who needed to be reminded that the God who does all things well led His own dear son into the horrors of the Roman system of justice and punishment for them and this suffering is not an accident or whim or meaningless, but part of His good plan of eternal redemption and victory! These early readers needed to know this because they were living the suffering.
In the midst of uncertainty and suffering, time crawls and suddenly from being the fast-paced almost relentless charge to Jerusalem, Mark’s account slows down, becomes detailed and sharp as Jesus glorifies each step, going before us through agony: even in these extremes He continued to do everything well.
The first readers would have had first-hand experience of Roman law and procedures. The resurrection part of the account might feel like a footnote, maybe because these Roman readers knew this part of the Good News well. They would share in the victory of his resurrection, but Jesus suffering reassures them that their own suffering is part of His glorious purpose too. It’s not only about the rescuing power of Calvary for these readers, it’s the inclusive power of Jesus suffering: He walked where I walk, He literally went through Hell and crushed its grip and power so that we can know there’s no Hell that can separate us and no suffering that is meaningless once Jesus becomes our reason and meaning.
The torn curtain, the torn body are the way that ‘God with us’ can now truly be with us in every season and situation, and His holiness, peace and influence can shine through us as we follow His plans, as we follow Him even in the toughest places.
Pray for the millions of our brothers and sisters who live under persecution. Look at Open Doors or Christian Solidarity Worldwide for specific information.