Markby Robert M. Solomon
On Saturday evening, when the Sabbath was over, the two Marys and Salome who were present at the cross (Mark 15:40) brought spices to anoint the body of Jesus (v. 1). Early the next morning, they went to the tomb, and it dawned on them that they might not be able to move the stone at the entrance, which could be closed with relative ease by slotting it into a groove on the rock floor, but was very difficult to open afterwards (v. 3). Perhaps they should have brought some of the male disciples to help them.
They got a shock when they reached the tomb: the entrance stone had already been moved (v. 4). That it was not the wrong tomb is made clear by Mark 15:47-they knew where it was. Rushing in, they were further shocked to see someone sitting inside it. It was a young man dressed in a white robe (an angel, according to Matthew 28:5). He told them not to be alarmed, and that Jesus had risen (v. 6)! He showed them the place where Jesus' body had been-it was empty. He then instructed the astounded women to tell the disciples of Jesus, ″and Peter″ (a special touch of the forgiving Lord who felt for the fumbling and repentant Peter), that Jesus had risen and was going ahead of them into Galilee, where they would see Him again (v. 7). Jesus had already told them about this (Mark 14:28).
That God chose women to be the first witnesses of the resurrection is incredible, if we remember that in the culture of those days, the testimony of women was not taken seriously (vv. 9-11; Luke 24:10-11). If the resurrection of Jesus was invented, the ″inventors″ would have placed men as the first witnesses. That the women were the first to see the empty tomb and meet the angel is surely proof of the authenticity of the resurrection account.
The women were ″trembling″ (the Greek word means ″ecstasy″), ″bewildered″, and ″afraid″ (v. 8). They ran away from the tomb, after the shock of seeing it empty and being told that Jesus had risen. They were afraid yet filled with joy.
Put yourself in the women's sandals. How would you have reacted to what they saw and heard? Why did the disciples and women find it hard to believe what Jesus has already predicted (Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:34)?
What does the resurrection of Jesus prove about who Jesus is? Remember that Mark 1:1 refers to Jesus as ″the Son of God″. Remembering that you are also a witness of the risen Lord, how would that change your life?