After Jesus was crucified, the unbelieving Jewish leaders said to Pilate, “That liar, Jesus, said he would rise from the dead after three days. The tomb must be guarded so that his disciples do not steal the body and then say he has risen from the dead.”
Pilate said, “Make the tomb as secure as you can.” So they sealed the stone at the entrance of the tomb and put soldiers there to make sure no one could steal the body.
The day after Jesus was buried was a Sabbath, a day of rest. Very early on the morning after the Sabbath, several women including Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to Jesus’ tomb to put more burial spices on his body.
Full credit must be given to these brave and dedicated vessels.It was women who stood at the cross (plus John) while the rest of the disciples scattered to save themselves. It was women who went to the tomb even though it was sealed and barred with a huge stone. They went anyway. It was women who went to the tomb even though it was guarded by soldiers of the Roman Army who had just demonstrated their sadistic brutality. They went anyway.
Where were the brave men who had loudly talked about their loyalty to Jesus? Hiding. Cowering behind the locked door of the upper room. And when the women revealed their joyous news, did they believe? No, they ran to check. After all, how could Jesus reveal His resurrection from the dead to a woman, first? They forget it was a woman who had the most important job in scriptures (after Jesus), the birth of the Messiah.
Now to be fair to the men…… AFTER they had received power from on high, after they had received the Holy Spirit as promised by Jesus.. they were transformed into real men of God. Indeed we should ponder on the proof of the resurrection – not on what the witnesses saw but in how they responded to what they saw. Not once did a single disciple or witness to Jesus’ resurrection change their story. In fact, many died a brutal death for the truth they witnessed personally. People will die for something they believe to be true, but no one will ever die for something they know is a lie. So the disciples by the Grace and Power of the Holy Spirit, bravely went out and turned the world upside down. A thought! If they had not gone out… where would you and I be today?
There was a great earthquake. An angel of the Lord appeared from heaven, as bright as lightning. He rolled away the stone that was covering the entrance to the tomb and sat on it. The soldiers guarding the tomb were terrified and fell to the ground like dead men.
In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; He has risen! Remember how He told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again”. Then they remembered His words. Luke 24: 5-8 kjv.
The angel told the women, “Do not be afraid. Jesus is not here. He has risen from the dead, just like he said he would! Look in the tomb and see.” The women looked into the tomb and saw where Jesus had been lying. His body was not there!
Then the angel told the women, “Tell the disciples that Jesus has risen from the dead and is going before you into Galilee.”
The women were full of fear and great joy. They ran to tell the disciples the good news.
On the way, Jesus appeared to them, and they worshiped him. Jesus said, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my disciples that I will see them in Galilee.