2And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.1Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.
3And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.
4And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:
5And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?
On the third day, the women went to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus.When they arrived, they found that the stone had been rolled away, the tomb empty. Depending on which Gospel you are reading, this would have been Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of Jesus and Salome (according to Mark). Now, various translations of the Bible use different terms for the reaction of these women. “Wondering” (NIV), “perplexed” (KJV) or others. These words have to be way too soft to express the feelings and reactions of these women.
“Bewildered, consternation, flabbergasted.” Still too soft, I imagine. These women had to be totally devastated. They worshiped the man, Jesus. They were torn apart by His death. They had come to honor Him. He was not there. The stone had been rolled aside, the tomb empty.
It was Jewish belief that the dead would rise, at the last day of judgment. (Except for the Sadducees, of course) Although Jesus had told His disciples that He would be raised from the dead, they simply had no conception of what He had meant.
Furthermore, the women became “afraid” or “alarmed” when the angels appeared in the tomb. Again, these terms are way, way to soft in my opinion. The inside of the tomb was painted a pure white, as was the tradition of the time. Yet the angels “glowed” against the pure white background. Would you have been merely “alarmed” or “frightened”? I would have been scared right out of my sandals!
These women had no background or concept of the resurrection on the third day. Nothing, not even Jesus own words had prepared them for this. Nothing!
Who had stolen the body? What were they going to do with it? Why had they done it? Perplexing? You bet!
And heartbreaking. The body of her son, gone. The body of her rabbi, missing, stolen. The Marys must have been torn apart by what they saw.
The two strangers, glowing against the white of the tomb. Alarmed, frightened? Wouldn’t you be? Now Mary, mother of Jesus had encountered these fellows before. But still, her son’s body was gone… stolen. Heart-wrenching fear of what was happening, what it all meant.
So unprepared were these women that later, when Jesus appeared to them, they did not recognize Him. Would you if a man risen from the dead, a man you loved with all of your heart, appeared before you?
This was the miracle of all time, the miracle of miracles to be sure. Through faith, we have come to not be afraid of the empty tomb, but to cherish it.
But for Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother and Salome? “Wondering, perplexed and alarmed” cannot begin to express how they felt that 1st Easter morning.
Thank you, Abba, for this gift for our salvation!
HE IS RISEN!
HAPPY EASTER, MY FRIENDS.
Alive in the Word