Jun. 16. The Empty Tomb!

Mt. 28:1-8; Mk. 16:1-8; Lk. 24:1-8, 12; Jn. 20:1-10

After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other women came to Jesus’ tomb to finish embalming His body. It was very early in the morning and still dark even though the sun was rising.

As they approached the tomb, the women were wondering who would roll the stone away from the tomb for them. A great earthquake solved this problem. An angel from the Lord had descended from heaven and had rolled the stone back from the door and was sitting on it.

While the Roman guards were frozen like dead men, the women trembled with fear. In all of the confusion, Mary Magdalene left the others and went to get Peter and John and she neither saw the angels nor went inside the tomb.

The angel told the other women to not be afraid because Jesus had risen as He had said that He would. He then invited them to go inside to see where Jesus had lain.

As the women entered the tomb, they saw another angel sitting on the right side and again, they were startled. This angel also told them not to be afraid because Jesus of Nazareth had risen. “See the place where they laid Him.”

The angels told the women to, “Go tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.”

As the women left, they were in a state of shock, wonder, amazement and great joy at the things they had just seen and heard.

Peter and John ran back to the tomb with Mary coming along behind them. By the time they had reached the tomb, everyone had left. John, being younger, outran Peter, but he did not go inside until after Peter had entered.

It was noteworthy that the linen cloths were lying by themselves and the handkerchief that had been around the head of Jesus was folded by itself. No grave robber would have been that careful and neat.

After seeing these things, Peter and John went back to their own homes, not fully understanding the Scripture that had said that Jesus must rise again from the dead.

Mary Magdalene returned to the tomb after everyone else had left. In a state of confusion and turmoil, she bent down and looked into the “empty tomb.” It wasn’t empty.

Two angels were sitting inside, one at the head and the other at the foot where Jesus had lain. They asked Mary why she was weeping and she said, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.”