When praying the rosary this morning – it was still dark – I started thinking about the witnesses to the event. We read in the Gospels that Mary Magdalen and other women, the number changes depending on the Gospel, went to the tomb of Jesus to anoint His body, as there wasn’t time after His crucifixion. The women found the tomb empty. The event changes depending on the Gospel. In both Mark, Matthew and Luke angels are present to announce Jesus’ resurrection. In the Gospel of John only Mary Magdalen goes to the tomb and when she finds it empty, runs to Peter and John to tell them.
So I was thinking this morning – what happened to the other women? Did they return home wondering what had happened? The women were really brave to go out before dawn, unaccompanied by men. I am guessing that finding the tomb empty and thinking that someone stole Jesus’ body, the women would have been frightened. The perpetrators may still be near; they may want to cover their crime and seek to hurt the women. The grief of the women would have been overwhelming, as they have not only lost their friend in this horrendous execution, but even his dead body was not respected. The women would have sought the refuge of home to feel safe and to cry.
Then I thought about Mary, Martha and Lazarus. Who told them that Jesus was resurrected? Were they in Jerusalem for the Passover? I can imagine the scene when someone, perhaps even Mary Magdalen, visits with Mary, Martha and Lazarus and tells the three the wonderful news that Jesus is alive. Mary and Martha embrace and cry tears of joy. Perhaps Lazarus stays seated where he is, a wry smile on his face, a small tear escaping from his eye. Lazarus is not surprised at the news, for not that long ago he heard the Voice of Jesus call to him, bringing him back from death. Lazarus had known since then that no power on earth could do what that Voice did and that nothing had power over that Voice.