16 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3 and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” 4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. 6 “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’” 8 Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.
Mary and Salome were great. Even in their sadness at Jesus’ death, they still got organised to look after Him – they bought the burial spices in the evening, they got up very early the next morning to go to the tomb before the day warmed, they went to the tomb – they had a plan and were implementing it. They hadn’t thought it through completely though – they forgot about the stone so they talked about it on the way but didn’t really have a solution. But God had a solution for them – one beyond their imagining. We do things like this too – have a plan, take steps to make it happen – but sometimes we also forget really important bits of the process until the last minute. The stone would have completely prevented them from anointing Jesus with the spices. It was a big thing for them to forget. When we work on our plans with God He helps us to remember the critical bits and helps us even when we do forget.
The rest of the passage is about the miracle of Jesus rising from the dead. What a magnificent thing. Another blessing for these women – to be the first to be told that Jesus was no longer dead. They were the first because they were loving Jesus in their actions, because they were doing something rather than sitting with their grief, because even when they didn’t know how they could possibly get into the tomb to anoint Jesus they went anyway rather than giving up. They freaked out a bit (as any of us would) but they continued to do what was asked of them and went back and told the disciples.
Lord help us to understand what You call us to do. Help us to actually go and do what You call us to do. What an amazing blessing You gave these women – You solved the critical problems in their plan AND You showed them first about the miracle of Jesus rising from the dead. They took steps to do what they were led too, even when they didn’t have all the answers, they kept going. Thank You for the example of Mary and Salome. Help us to remember these beautiful ladies.
Written by Therese Manning