After the confusion of the trial, the persecution, the cross, and fearing for their own lives, I picture the disciples huddled together in the upper room with the doors locked.
But the women were faithful to stay with Jesus, perhaps feeling less threatened. As one compares the four accounts, a slew of “Mary’s” beside Mary the mother of Jesus plus other women followers stood or knelt at the cross or nearby.
What gets a bit complicated are the comings and goings of these women according to the four Gospel accounts. The best I can sort it out:
Joseph [of Arimathea] took down Jesus’ body and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone across the entrance of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Joses, saw where he was laid. Mark 15:46-47
Since they know where Jesus is buried, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and Salome go to the tomb early the next morning with their prepared spices. They discuss how they are going to be able to move that huge stone.
But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side and they were alarmed. Mark 16:4-6
Alarmed? That’s putting it mildly. It’s scary enough just going into a tomb, much less seeing a being whose clothes “gleamed like lightning.” (Luke 24:4) I envision these women gasping, grabbing each other, and falling down on their knees with their chins tucked into their chests. The angel tells them not to be afraid.
“Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here: he has risen! Remember how he told you: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’” Luke 24:5-7
Ah, there it is again. Remember how we have commented about the fact that Jesus told them this several times and it just didn’t seem to sink in? BUT:
Then they remembered his words. Luke 24:8
At last, they finally remember. We have to admit, however, that sometimes WE read a warning or a promise or an encouragement from Scripture, then turn around and completely forget it or ignore it.
Well, nervous and excited, they run back to tell the disciples the good news.
But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. Luke 24:11
Bummer! However, Peter and John do go to the tomb to check it out. Peter goes into the empty tomb, sees the linen strips, but goes away “wondering what has happened.” (Luke 24:12) Thankfully, at least John went inside. He saw and believed. (John 20:8) But they still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead. (John 20:9)
Evidently, Mary Magdalene trailed along behind them and lingered at the tomb after Peter and John left. She asks a question through tearful eyes to someone who is there near the tomb. When the stranger speaks her name, she realizes it is the risen Jesus. I picture her walking back with dignity and speaking with assurance as she jubilantly tells the disciples.
“I have seen the Lord!” John 20:18
A blessed Resurrection Day to you all.
~ Joyce ~