Who prepared the body? Does it matter? John and Mark’s versions differ, John was a disciple, Mark was not. Does it matter?
I want to consider, measure, these words and actions carefully.
John 20:12-18 God’s Word Translation
She saw two angels in white clothes. They were sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying. One angel was where Jesus’ head had been, and the other was where His feet had been. The angels asked her why she was crying. Mary told them, “They have removed my Lord, and I don’t know where they’ve put Him.” After she said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there. However, she didn’t know that it was Jesus.
Jesus asked her, “Why are you crying? Who are you looking for?” Mary thought it was the gardener speaking to her. So she said to him, “Sir, if you carried Him away, tell me where you have put Him, and I’ll remove Him.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary!” Mary turned around and said to Him in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (This word means “teacher.”)
Jesus told her, “Don’t hold on to Me. I have not yet gone to the Father. But go to My brothers and sisters and tell them, ‘I am going to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God.’”
Mary from Magdala went to the disciples and told them, “I have seen the Lord.” She also told them what He had said to her.
Mark 16:1-8 The Message
When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so they could embalm Him. Very early on Sunday morning, as the sun rose, they went to the tomb. They worried out loud to each other, “Who will roll back the stone from the tomb for us?” Then they looked up, saw that it had been rolled back—it was a huge stone—and walked right in. They saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed all in white. They were completely taken aback, astonished.
He said, “Don’t be afraid. I know you’re looking for Jesus the Nazarene, the One they nailed on the cross. He’s been raised up; He’s here no longer. You can see for yourselves that the place is empty. Now—on your way. Tell His disciples and Peter that He is going on ahead of you to Galilee. You’ll see Him there, exactly as He said.”They got out as fast as they could, beside themselves, their heads swimming. Stunned, they said nothing to anyone.
It is the day after the Crucifixion, can you imagine the range of emotions since Jesus was arrested? The disciples have gathered; the women are left to tend to the body, they return to find the stone rolled away and Jesus’ body gone. What now?
Not only did they endure a horrible week, the torture and death of their teacher, they now faced the possibility that Jesus’ body was taken from the grave.
He was taken away, but not in the manner they supposed.
They were told by Jesus Himself that He had returned from the grave; He had risen; He is risen indeed!
We, who were not there are asked to believe these events occurred as written in Your Word, Dear Lord. While those there found it hard, yes almost impossible to believe, they had witnessed first-hand Jesus’ many miracles, and the resurrection of Lazarus from death. Yet, they were frightened and totally undone. Doesn’t that frighten us? Aren’t we undone when we hear the story Easter after Easter? I am.
Why did this happen? Why did Jesus have to suffer and die, in such a gory manner? Why, how did He resurrect Himself from death? What now?
Can a mere human, grieving, hurt, distraught, abandoned, survive yet another ride on this week’s rollercoaster?
Survive they did; reassured they were; comfort they were provided; proof they were afforded; strength and power they were gifted; death and martyrdom their ultimate future; all done for us, so that we might believe, sight unseen.
Thank You, Dear Lord, for Your ultimate sacrifice. Thank You for living proof that Jesus conquered death. That He assured us:
John 14:1-4 The Message
“Don’t let this throw you. You trust God, don’t you? Trust me. There is plenty of room for you in my Father’s home. If that weren’t so, would I have told you that I’m on my way to get a room ready for you? And if I’m on my way to get your room ready, I’ll come back and get you so you can live where I live. And you already know the road I’m taking.”
GOD MOVES IN A MYSTERIOUS WAY
a hymn by William Cowper 1774
God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sov’reign will.
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.
His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flow’r.
Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.
Measure: consider (one’s words or actions) carefully.