EASTER: THE JOY OF THE RESURRECTION
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. 2 Very early on Sunday morning, just at sunrise, they went to the tomb. 3 On the way they were asking each other, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” 4 But as they arrived, they looked up and saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled aside.
5 When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a white robe sitting on the right side. The women were shocked, 6 but the angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body. 7 Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died.”
8 The women fled from the tomb, trembling and bewildered, and they said nothing to anyone because they were too frightened.
The presence of these three faithful women (Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome) was so profound. With the exception of John none of the other disciples who belong to the group of twelve were reported to have been present at Calvary, but these women were present! They were also present at his burial and "saw where Jesus' body was laid" (Mark 15:47). And they were the first to hear that he had risen! Being witnesses of Christ's death, burial, and resurrection appearance, they were qualified witnesses of facts of redemption to which, under God, the church church depends for its faith. All were changed by the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth, and their gratitude overflowed.
I also love that Mark included a certain detail in the angel's message to the women: "Now go tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee." Even though they deserted him, and even though Peter denied him... the Savior still pursued them. Mark is giving us, the reader, the anticipation of reunion and restoration. That note of anticipation is resolved in John's Gospel as Jesus gently restores Peter, telling him to "feed my sheep" (John 21:15-19).
1. Why do you think these three women were so faithful and loyal to Jesus?
2. How does Jesus' triumph over the grave affect the way you live today?