One blog, by Kelly Minter on the gospel coalition.org writes an article called “Follow the Women at the Tomb”. It is well written and flows nicely. She really understands what happened at the tomb of Christ on the Sunday following the meal on Thursday night. Remember, at that place and at that a time in history, a partial day counted as a full day. Though there was not much time in the day on Friday, that counted as one day. Then we have Saturday. The third day, which is when Christ was supposed to rise, would therefore, be Sunday.
There are four gospels and each one is different. I’m pulling from all four, but deciding (with help) which sections to pull from which gospel.
Sunday is when the women showed up to anoint Christ’s body; this was the custom at the time. Matthew 28: 1 “Now after the sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Mag’dalene and the other Mary went to see the sepulcher.” The women are told by an angel to go tell the disciples that Jesus has risen from the dead. Also, they are to go and see him in Galilee. I noticed that the women departed with fear and great joy.
In Mark 16:1, three women brought spices to anoint Jesus. They were concerned that they needed someone to roll away the stone that was in front of the tomb. The stone was already rolled back. Inside there was a young man in a white robe. (Mark 16:4-5) An angel would like me to say that the young man is an angel. That certainly would be appropriate. The angel in the Bible tells the women that Jesus of Nazareth has risen. They are to tell the disciples that Jesus is in Galilee. This time the women are “trembling and astonishment had come upon them…they were afraid”. The way this is worded tells me that the women believe what the angel told them. Otherwise, why would they be astonished?
In Luke the stone was also rolled back. There are different versions regarding who sees Jesus first. I am going to use John’s version. Mary is outside the tomb and she has been weeping. She turns and sees Jesus standing there, but she does not know it is him. (John 20:14); John 20:15 “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek?” Mary thinks that Jesus is the gardener and may have carried the body of Jesus away. Christ says Mary’s name and Mary calls Jesus teacher in Hebrew: Rab-bo’ni! Mary must move forward to “hold” (hug) Jesus as Jesus asks her not to. John 20:17. “Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” Mary Magdalene went and told the disciples.
In John, Jesus sees the disciples that same night (Sunday night). He says peace be with you and then breathes on them. John 20:22 “Receive the Holy Spirit”. A disciple named Thomas was not with them. Jesus comes eight days later. Thomas had said that he would not believe until he sees Christ’s wounds. Jesus shows him but then says: Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe. (John 20:29) As John says there are “…also many other things which Jesus did…” John 21:25. Jesus shows himself to the disciples off and on for forty days.
Since the women are doing the anointing (or planning to), I think it is appropriate that I pick a prayer for caregivers – paid or not. Not having guests in to see your “charge” or not being allowed to take them out except for very necessary appointments must be a trial. So, if you want an idea for a prayer today – how about caregivers?