Before daylight, a close knit group of faithful women began a mission of love for their departed Lord and friend. Laden with spices to anoint His body, they reverently approached His tomb. They likely discussed the problem of getting inside 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. The stone lay off to the side, giving complete access to the burial place (that had been given by a wealthy Council member). The kindness of Christ follower Joseph of Arimathea did not go unnoticed.
The women humbly entered the tomb and discovered the tomb was empty; Jesus no longer occupied the grave!
Suddenly, they encountered two men in radiant clothing. The natural reaction of fright gripped the women; in awe, they fell to the ground.
The men asked a penetrating question, “Why do you seek the living One among the dead (Luke 24:5b NAS)?”
The messenger 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, they remembered Jesus telling them of his death and resurrection. To rise again? That had not seemed possible. Alive? They saw Him die! Three days had passed since His lifeless body had been sealed inside the tomb…
The morning skies brightened. Hearts cold with grief now pulsed with hope and joy.
Culture, tradition and prejudice prevailed. Women held few places of influence. Against all odds, women were the recipients of the angel’s resurrection announcement. 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).”
Catch sight of frail women lifting their skirts and breathlessly running to tell Jesus’ disciples.
Before carrying out their mission, they came face-to-face with Christ. He encouraged the women and gave them His personal message. “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)”
*Women were first to see the open tomb.
*Women were first to hear of His resurrection.
*Women were first to see the risen Redeemer.
*Women were first to carry the Gospel message. Jesus lives; He conquered death.
The disciples rejected their message.
“And these words appeared to them as nonsense, and they would not believe them (Luke 24: 11 NAS).”
Jesus later appeared to His disciples in His resurrected body.
Proof cancelled out rejection.
He lives and He is coming again!