The Lord God frequently does what we least expect! If we try to put His activity in a box He is sure to burst it open! Resurrection morning would not be scripted by any of the disciples.
Before complete daylight a close knit group of faithful women began a mission of love, for their departed Lord and friend. They reverently approached His tomb, laden with spices to anoint His body. They likely discussed the problem of getting in to perform their task. The large stone sealing His tomb created a barrier they needed to overcome.
The sight of His open tomb caught them by surprise. This development never crossed their minds, still numb with grief. The stone lay off to the side, giving complete access to the burial place given by a wealthy Council member, yet a follower of Jesus. The kindness of Joseph of Arimathea did not go un-noticed.
The women humbly entered the opening and nearly fainted in the discovery that Jesus no longer occupied the grave! Where is He?
Suddenly in their midst they encountered two men in clothing radiant as a bolt of lightning! The natural reaction of fright gripped the women and they fell to the ground in awe. Maybe this was all a dream! The men then spoke to the women with a penetrating question, “Why do you seek the living One among the dead (Luke 24:5b NAS)?” Before they had time to answer, the message continued, “He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again (Luke 24:6-7 NAS).”
Yes, now they remembered Jesus telling them! It just did not seem possible; they saw Him die! Three days passed by and His lifeless body was sealed inside the tomb!
This was amazing! The morning skies now showed the glow of dawn and their hearts once cold moments before, now pulsed with reborn hope and joy!
Next we come face to face with culture, tradition and prejudice prevalent in the days of Jesus life and ministry. Women did not normally hold a place of authority or great influence. They lived in the shadows and did not expect many changes in their acceptance. In spite of the odds they were given the announcement of Jesus resurrection! Matthew said, “And they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy and ran to report it to his disciples (Matthew 28:8 NAS).”
Do you read between the lines of scripture? If you do, side step briefly and catch sight of these frail women, lifting their skirts, and breathlessly running to tell the men, found cowering in fear!
That is not all; next they see Jesus face to face! It is true, ladies He is alive! Now, dropping to the ground and grasping His ankles revealed pure love, worship, and a desire to never be out of His sight again! In tender compassion The Son of Man, born of woman, talked to the select group, “Do not be afraid; go and take word to my brethren to leave for Galilee, and there they shall see me (Matthew 28: 10 NAS)”
Don’t lose track of the women’s prized privileges. They were the first to see the open tomb, first to hear an announcement of His resurrection, first to behold Jesus alive, and now first appointed messengers to carry the gospel, the good news of Jesus conquering death!
Did the disciples wrap them in arms of love and share their joy? “And these words appeared to them as nonsense, and they would not believe them (Luke 24: 11 NAS).” The men soon saw Him themselves through eyes of faith and rejoicing!
Jesus birth announcement came by a heavenly angelic assembly to simple shepherds, outcasts in society. The Easter story targeted women, in their lowly state. Jesus return will need no go betweens. Trumpets will sound and He will appear in the heavens! Every day is Easter! HE’S ALIVE!