What a morning that must have been! I’m sure at first it didn’t seem like it to the women on their way to the tomb. They were probably unaware of the birds singing, or the sparkling dew on the grass and the flowers. They didn’t see how fresh and alive nature was that beautiful morning. The sky must have been painted brilliantly as the first rays of the sun started to peek over the horizon.
They hurried along the path, carrying fresh linen, spices and ointment. Their eyes were red and swollen from crying, their hearts were broken, and their bodies exhausted from lack of sleep. They had seen Jesus, their Master, beaten and bloodied, mocked and spat upon, and then nailed to a cross to suffer and die as though He were a terrible criminal. But why? He had only shown love and compassion to everyone. They had seen Him heal people, defend the condemned, feed the hungry and change the lives of all who followed Him. Now He was dead, and they hadn’t even been able to prepare His body for burial. They had been worried about where He would be buried since He had no material wealth, property or burial site. It was ironic that a wealthy Pharisee, Joseph of Arimathea, had donated a new burial tomb for His body to be placed. By the time they had taken His body from the cross and carried it to the tomb, it was too close to the Sabbath to clean or anoint His body with oil and spices. Now, the Sabbath was over and they were determined to finish their service of great love and respect.
The women were aware they had other issues to overcome. They knew the entrance to the tomb was covered by a large, heavy, circular stone. They knew there were Roman guards stationed at the entrance of the tomb. Would they be allowed to enter the tomb? How would they be able to roll the stone from the entrance? Would the guards be friendly and helpful, or rude and abusive? They were afraid, and worried, but they must try. They loved the Master and couldn’t accept His body not being properly prepared.
A great earthquake occurred and a bright, shining angel descended from the sky and rolled away the stone from the opening of the tomb. The women had probably felt the earth moving beneath their feet. They were shaking with fear but so were the Roman soldiers who appeared to have fainted. Then the angel spoke to the women, “Do not be afraid for I know you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, He is risen! Come and see the place where the Lord lay.” He then told them to go tell the disciples.
They were still shaking and crying, but now these were tears of joy. Could it be? Could it really be? They turned to run back down the path they had come, when suddenly Jesus was there. He was smiling and He looked wonderful. He said, “Joy to You.” They ran to Him and fell at His feet, worshiping Him. Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid, go tell my brothers to go to Galilee. I will see them there.”
Can you imagine when they reached the disciples and told them, “I’ve just seen Jesus, I know He’s Alive!” Their faces must have been radiant, smiling and crying all at the same time. What a wonderful morning!
I can relate to the experience of the women because there was one wonderful morning that I saw Jesus. There wasn’t an earthquake or an angel rolling away a stone, but I did see Him. I saw that He is really who He said He is—The Son of God—and He loved me so much He sacrificed His life for me. I saw how unworthy I was and how wonderful He is. Oh, I know He’s alive because I talk with Him every day. Before that day, I existed, but everything was a struggle. I was burdened with guilt and the consequences of the choices I had made. That morning— when I saw Him for who He is—was my Resurrection Morning. If you haven’t seen Jesus, let this be your Resurrection Morning!