What is so bizarre about the ending of Mark? Mark records a visit by several women to Jesus' tomb. As they arrive, they are expecting to anoint a dead body. There is some concern about how they will even get into the tomb; they remember the large stone that was rolled in front. At the tomb, however, they find the stone rolled away and a messenger inside who announces the resurrection to them! Then he provides these words: "Go, tell his disciples." The women leave in a hurry. In fact, Marks writes, "they fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid." Then the Gospel abruptly ends!
The women were told to "go and tell" but they left and kept silent out of fear.
Why would Mark end his gospel in this way? One thing to realize is that Mark wrote his gospel long after people had already become followers of the resurrected Jesus. This means that some, in fact, did "go and tell." This is the commission given to the church, to followers of Jesus, at the end of Mark: to continue this mission of "going and telling." This is the way the people of God grow, welcome in new people, and expand their influence. We are on a mission of "going and telling."
But like the women, we may shrink back in fear. In this way, the "bizarre" ending of the Gospel of Mark serves as a challenge to us: What if the women had never told? What if this really was the ending? The entirety of the life and mission of Jesus, as told throughout Mark, would have been in vain.
The good news is that Jesus was raised from the dead! We are told to "go and tell." Let us not be like those who shrink back in fear, but like those who have overcome fear through faith, and participate in the glorious mission of "going and telling" the good news.