The one thing that each of the Gospel accounts of the resurrection of Jesus begin with – is that it happened on the first day of the week. Now in Jewish reckoning, the seventh day of the week was the Sabbath day (Saturday) – the day when the Lord rested from the work of creation, offering to us the example of a cycle of work and worship. So the first day of the week is the day that we call the Lord’s day, the day of the resurrection – Sunday.
When this group of women made their way to the tomb that the body of Jesus had been laid in two days earlier, they would not have had any expectation of what they might find – other than the bloody and beaten and still very dead body of their dear loved friend and Messiah, Jesus. To see the stone had been rolled away would perhaps have been an initial relief – even with perhaps half-a-dozen women the task of moving that stone would have been a great burden. But that relief quickly turned into concern when they saw that the grave was almost empty. Almost – because the cloths that had wrapped the body of Jesus when it was hastily embalmed on the Friday – were still there. At least that meant that it was not grave-robbers who had moved the stone. Grave robbers were never interested in a dead body – especially one that had been tortured and brutalised through Roman crucifixion. They would take the expensive cloths and anything else that had been left in the tomb with the body – but here was the opposite situation – no body yet everything else was left. How strange and confusing!
Into this confusion suddenly two men in dazzling clothes appear with a call to the women to remember the words that Jesus had spoken. Words that they indeed do remember as they take the first frail steps on the journey to belief.
Recorded at St Paul’s, Camden, 8am (8’50”)