But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. 5 And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” 8 And they remembered his words, 9 and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, 11 but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. 12 But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened.
What were those women doing there at that hour? My brother insists that because Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus had collected and prepared Jesus’ body for burial. He thinks the women come to the tomb to do it right. He likens it to how his wife reloads the dishwasher after he puts the dishes in there. Those men probably did not do it right. Usually, it was the women of a family who prepared a body for burial.
I am not sure. I can imagine it being just that way. Perhaps they knew Jesus’ burial had been done in haste. We know Jesus was buried quickly because the Sabbath begins at sundown on Friday. In any event, these women also wanted to give him honor in his death and burial. He was their beloved teacher. The angelic beings who greet them ask the same question: “What are you here?” But the motive for their question is different. They think it is just silly that they expected to find a body there at all. Jesus told them He would rise from death. Don’t look for Him in a cemetery. Look among the living.
Often our eyes and ears are filled with the sights and sounds of this world’s suffering and death. We take it for normal. I got a prayer request today for another friend who is recovering from surgery and in pain. Am I more troubled by his pain or by the fact that added his name to a long list of folks who are suffering? I don’t know. The angels in this text want us to see a new normal, a new “regular way” of seeing the world. Jesus said he would rise, expect that! Jesus made many promises to us. Expect them all. He promised to be with you until the end of the age. He promised to raise you from death to eternal and blessed life. How does believing that promise govern the way we live and die? What if we expect something very different from what the world leads us to expect? What if we live and die trusting Him to keep His promise?