Vital Signs - Easter Sunday, April 12, 2020

You know that feeling when you are desperate to be somewhere, but are detained for a while?

Watch this as the same thing happened over 2000 years ago.

In Luke’s biography of Jesus, when the women saw where Jesus had been buried, they were eager to visit his tomb and anoint his body with spices. They quickly made preparations, but because it was the beginning of the Sabbath, they had to wait a day and a half to actually go to his tomb (23:54–56).

Finally, "at early dawn" on Sunday—their earliest possible opportunity—they went. They were so desperate to go because they loved Jesus. There was nowhere more important for them to be than at his tomb, honouring and adoring their Lord and friend by carefully preserving his body.

These women were Jesus’s disciples. They had spent time with him, sat under his teaching, witnessed his miracles, and had their lives transformed by him. They loved him. More recently, they’d journeyed with him from Galilee to Jerusalem and had watched as he was crucified (23:49) and buried (23:55).

While these women had spent so much time with Jesus and had sat under his teaching, they still hadn’t fully grasped who he was. He’d explicitly told them that he would rise again three days after his death, yet they were perplexed at the empty tomb. They expected Jesus’s death to be final, that they would find a stone and a corpse.

Can you imagine their sense of relief and elation at the angel’s words, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen”? Suddenly it all makes sense! They remember Jesus’s teaching that he would rise. Their beloved teacher and friend is alive!

In a world where a woman’s testimony didn’t stand-up in court, these women become the unlikely first witnesses to Jesus’s resurrection.

We see two different responses to their testimony of Jesus’s resurrection.

First, the apostles don't believe it. To them it sounds like an "idle tale"—a silly story that you’d be foolish to believe.