That evening, the day before the Sabbath, a prominent man named Joseph asks Pilate for Jesus’ body. Joseph and Nicodemus (the Pharisee who visited Jesus at night (John 3:1-22)) prepare Jesus’ body for burial and place Him in an empty tomb. “And Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting opposite the tomb.” The chief priests and Pharisees place guards out front of the tomb to secure the stone at the entrance of the tomb and to stand watch so no one will steal Jesus’ body and claim that He has risen.
“Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him. Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.” There they find the stone rolled away, the guards frozen like dead men, and the tomb empty. Then an angel asks the women, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’”
“And they remembered His words. Then they returned from the tomb and told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest… And their words seemed to them like idle tales, and they did not believe them.” But Peter and John race to the tomb (with John winning the race, as he makes sure to note) and all they find are linen cloths and the handkerchief that was on Jesus’ head folded together in a place by itself. Then they believe and return home.
Mary stays outside the tomb weeping and Jesus appears to her, calling her by name and says, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’” So Mary, commissioned by Jesus to deliver the news of His resurrection to the disciples, goes and tells them that she has seen the resurrected Christ and all the words He had spoken.
Meanwhile, the chief priests pay some soldiers to lie and say that His disciples took Jesus’ body during the night. “So they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.”
Tomorrow Jesus appears to the disciples. Keep reading.
(Mark 15:42-47, Matthew 27:57-61, Luke 23:50-56, John 19:38-42, Matthew 27:62-66, Mark 16:1-8, Matthew 28:1-7, Luke 24:1-12, Mark 16:9-11, John 20:1-18, Matthew 28:8-15)