As soon as dawn breaks and there is enough light to see where they are going, the women head toward Jesus’ tomb. They carry spices and hope to anoint his body.
Salome and the two Marys (Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of James) know that a heavy stone seals the tomb. They wonder who will move it for them, but they are not the least bit deterred from their mission. Someone will move it, or they will try themselves. Either way, they will anoint his body right now.
It’s a gruesome task, this anointing. Jesus has been beaten and crucified. A thorny crown has been pressed into his scalp. No one has cleaned his body and he has been lying bloody and bruised in his tomb for a day and a half.
Yet they hurry to the grave, anxious to do this final thing for him.
When they arrive, they look up to find the stone already moved away, and so they enter the tomb.
There is a young man dressed in white inside, who says, “Do not be alarmed….He has been raised.” He further tells the women to go and find Peter and the others and spread the word that Jesus will meet them all in Galilee. He has gone back to the place where everything started and will meet them there.
His saying “Do not be alarmed” doesn’t change the fact that this is alarming news. The young man doesn’t prevent their fright and confusion at all.
Mark tells us the women leave the tomb completely terrified, saying nothing at all about their experience to anyone. And that’s how the gospel ends.
Except we know that wasn’t the end at all. It was only the beginning, just as Mark said in the very first sentence of his story. “This is the beginning of the good news…”
It is a new day.
Text for the day:
Things to think about:
Many things worth doing begin with an alarming discovery and overwhelming fear.
The most common words in the Bible are “Do not be afraid.”
Things to do:
The grave cannot hold him, or you. Celebrate today!
Jesus Christ, risen Lord, replace my fear with joy and confidence.