Three of the women who had looked after Jesus during his ministry, had not left him throughout the terrible ordeal of his crucifixion. Now, at the earliest possible opportunity, they are trying to do what little they can to serve their master. They are still focused on his needs. They still feel they can serve him by anointing his body with the appropriate burial spices. It is, they presume, their last act of love and service to Jesus. On the way there, the thing they are most worried about is how they will be able to open the tomb.
I can’t really imagine how they must have felt when they were greeted by the young man clothed in a white robe. It must have been difficult to process what they were being told – Jesus is not dead, he is alive and he will meet you later. I think the actuality of Jesus’s bodily resurrection on the third day after he died by crucifixion is still quite a hard thing to process!
Mark 16:1-7 NLT
Saturday evening, when the Sabbath ended, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome went out and purchased burial spices so they could anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on Sunday morning, just at sunrise, they went to the tomb. On the way they were asking each other, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” But as they arrived, they looked up and saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled aside. When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a white robe sitting on the right side. The women were shocked, but the angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body. Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died.”
My goal after reading this passage is to remember that following Jesus is not as simple as just listening to what he said and trying to live accordingly, a life of service, as the women who discovered the empty tomb had done. Of course we are called into a life of humble service to others. We are encouraged to find satisfaction in completing our daily tasks as if everything we do meets the needs of Jesus himself. But we also need to enter into a relationship with the living Jesus of today. All of what Jesus preached and taught during his lifetime is applicable in our time, but the one thing that His resurrection gives us that nothing only written in the bible can, is his presence in our hearts and lives now. He is alive and with us now. I want to meet him, hear from him, speak to him, and live with him today.
Numbers 16:41-18:32, Mark 16:1-20, Psalms 55:1-23, Proverbs 11:7