“But the angel told the women, “Don’t be afraid, because I know you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here! For He has been resurrected, just as He said. Come and see the place where He lay. Then go quickly and tell His disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead. In fact, He is going ahead of you to Galilee; you will see Him there.’ Listen, I have told you.” So, departing quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, they ran to tell His disciples the news. Just then Jesus met them and said, “Good morning! ” They came up, took hold of His feet, and worshiped Him. Then Jesus told them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see Me there.””
Matthew 28:5-10 HCSB
Just a few short hours ago these women thought death had won. In fact all of Jesus’ followers had succumbed to that belief, and why shouldn’t they. The whole city of Jerusalem had either seen or heard of the brutality of Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion. These women had actually been at the foot of the cross and watched as Jesus’ blood had poured down on the wooden beams dying them crimson. They had audibly heard His gasps for breath as every torturous movement strained against the nails that bound Him to that wretched cross.
These women were the ones who observed Joseph of Artemethea and Nicodemus take down Jesus’ body and carry to the tomb. From a distance they watched the men prepare Him for burial. They watched this rich ruler and the teacher of Israel use warm water to clean off Jesus’ caked on blood. They observed these men wrap Jesus’ torso and body separately using aloe and myrrh.
Each of these women had sat in that early morning waiting and watching for the first streaks of gray to color the morning sky heralding the end of the Sabbath and the dawn of a new day. This was their signal to begin work again. They had one agenda. They would offer Jesus the only sacrifice they could. The women would anoint the body with frankincense and other spices in an attempt to mask His decomposition. It was their only expression of their love and devotion they could offer to the One who had delivered them of evil.
They had been the last to leave calvary’s Hill, and they were the first to arrive at the empty tomb. And for their devotion they were rewarded. These beautiful women were the first to see the Resurrected Lord. When no one in their society would ever consider a woman’s testimony to be of any value, God allowed these faithful women to be the first eyewitnesses to an empty tomb and a resurrected Lord.
Jesus met them on the road as they were heading to tell His disciples of the vacant tomb. Leaning toward them Jesus broke into their joy and multiplied it.
They are our example.
First they came to the gravesite out of love and devotion.
Next, once they saw and heard the Angel’s command, they obeyed. “Departing quickly”
Then they were rewarded with the presence of Jesus.
The Angel’s first command was “Come and see!” Then that was followed by “Go and tell!” We must not keep the Resurrection news to ourselves. The angel sent the women to tell (of all people) Christ’s own disciples. They should have been expecting the news, but instead, they questioned it even when they heard it.
God used an unlikely source. He used women first to go and tell the resurrection news.
“Lord fill us with this unbelievable power to tell of the Resurrected Lord.”