It was the day of preparation, and the Sabbath was about to begin. The women who had come from Galilee with him followed behind, and when they had seen the tomb and the way in which his body was laid in it, they returned and prepared spices and perfumed oils. Then they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandments. Luke 24:54-55
These words read at the end of the Passion according to Luke, led me to wonder what went through the minds of those women who stayed with Jesus through his passion and death. These faithful grieving women, anxious to anoint Jesus after he was taken down from the cross, remained true to their custom and waited until after the Sabbath to go back to the tomb.
If Mary of Magdala had written her experience of that Sabbath and the next day in a journal, what might she have said? Let us place ourselves in her sandals and reflect on that for a moment.
The Sabbath – Today is supposed to be a day of rest. How can I rest when I ponder what has happened in the last few days? My Master was brutally crucified. There was nothing I could do but watch from the crowd. He did nothing wrong, but no one would believe him. Whom do I turn to now that he is gone? He was so compassionate and gave us such hope. I feel so empty, so lost. Will anointing his body tomorrow ease any of this pain?
First Day of the Week – This is a day I will always remember. I went with the other women to anoint Jesus’ body with the spices we had prepared. When we arrived at the tomb, the stone was already rolled away! We went into the tomb but the Lord Jesus was not there. Then we saw two men in dazzling garments who told us that Jesus was raised. We were terrified yet excited. They spoke to us and reminded us that Jesus said he would rise on the third day. We ran back to tell the eleven and the others, but they said that our story was nonsense. Isn’t that just like the men? They had to go and see for themselves before they would believe us.
What meaning does Jesus’ rising from the dead have for me now? What is it that I am called to do as a follower of this risen Lord?
As we continue through this Easter season, perhaps these questions can prompt some personal reflection. How do I make the Resurrection a personal reality for me?