LADIES PREPARE TO ANOINT JESUS' BODY
The two ladies both called Mary (Mary Magdalene and Mary the
mother of Joses and James), told other ladies what they had
witnessed that evening of the 15th day. They told other ladies
where Joseph and Nicodemus had buried Jesus, in a tomb in the
garden of Golgotha. It was probably Mary Magdalene's idea to buy
spices, prepare them, and come and anoint Jesus in the tomb.
The anointing was a kind of preserving a body for a while,
so it would not decompose as quickly as not being anointed with
the special spices. This shows that they never expected Jesus to
rise from the dead. Indeed none of the disciples were expecting
such a miracle to happen.
It was now the annual Sabbath, the 15th of Nisan, the first
day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. It seems none of the
ladies had in stock in their homes any of the spices needed to
anoint Jesus' body. They would have to buy them after the annual
Sabbath of the 15th of Nisan (which was a Thursday), was over.
Friday, a work day, the second day of the feast of Unleavened
Bread would be the day they would purchase the spices and prepare
them. This they did, then rested on the weekly Sabbath (Saturday)
according to the fourth commandment (see Mark 16: 1 with Luke
They were now all ready, very excited, with the thought of
rising very early the first day of the week, our Sunday, a work
day, and head for the tomb in which Jesus was laying and anoint
Him with the spices.
JESUS IS RESURRECTED!
The ladies had bought and prepared the spices on Friday, and
they had rested the seventh day, in accordance with the fourth
commandment of God's great Ten Commandments. That Sabbath was
now over, the sun had set, it was getting very close to three
days and three night, or 72 hours, that Jesus had been placed in
the tomb. Darkness was closing in, the stars were about to shine
in the heaven above. It was a pretty normal Saturday evening we
would say, for most people that is. But in that Golgotha garden,
and in one particular tomb, something was about to happen that
was far from normal, in fact it had NEVER happened before, in the
history of mankind being on the earth.
God in heaven above, was watching over His Son Jesus in the
tomb where He lay. Jesus had died in complete FAITH that His
Father in heaven would, three days and three nights later,
RESURRECT Him from the dead, but not to just being once more a
physical man, but to being GLORIFIED and made IMMORTAL, made
eternal, having once more the GLORY that He had when He was with
the Father before becoming a human being (that was made clear to
us in Jesus' prayer to the Father during the night He was
betrayed - John chapter 17). No other human person who ever lived
had ever been made IMMORTAL! Some had been raised from the dead,
like when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, but not one single
individual from the time of Adam and Eve, had ever been made
The time had COME....it was now 72 hours since Jesus was
placed in the tomb. The Almighty Father in heaven said, "LET IT
BE DONE. LET MY SON LIVE AGAIN WITH THE GLORY HE HAD BEFORE HE
BECAME A HUMAN BEING!!"
Glory FILLED the tomb where Jesus lay. The Father filled the
tomb with the POWER of His Holy Spirit.....and in one split
second, Jesus' literal body was made IMMORTAL! Jesus opened His
eyes. He was ALIVE once more! He had been dead, had NOT EXISTED
for three days and three nights. He had died in full FAITH, given
His spirit over into the hands of the Father in heaven, and He
was NOW ALIVE again! His body was filled with eternal GLORY. He
now once more had the power and majesty to appear as flesh and
bone, and to vanish away into the unseen world of SPIRIT!
God and the angels live in a different dimension than we
humans do. We are ONLY physical. But God, Jesus once said, is
SPIRIT (see John chapter 4), meaning He has a Spirit body,
eternal and full of GLORY. His world is a world made of Spirit.
The heavenly Jerusalem, and all it contains, with all the angels
and beings in that world that God has created (last chapters of
the book of Revelation) is made of Spirit. And is, unless
God chooses otherwise, not able to be seen by the human eyes.
God's face is like the SUN, and even more. We are told in the
Bible that Moses once asked God to show Himself to him, in His
GLORY form. God said He would show Moses His glory form, but
only His back parts, for God said to Moses, "Mankind cannot look
on my face and live" (see Exodus 33: 11-23).
Then God can, if He so desires, make Himself into physical
matter, of flesh and bone. He can then appear to humans, talk to
them, eat a meal with them, have them touch Him. We see this in
the Old Testament, in such chapters as Genesis 18, where God
appeared to Abraham, even ate a meal with him.
Jesus was again alive, but alive with the GLORY of
IMMORTALITY. He was laying in the tomb wrapped all over with
cloth, arms, legs, torso, even His head. No problem, in His now
glorified state, He simply came through all the cloth around His
glorified body, just in a sense walked through it all, or as we
might think of it today in our space age.....He beamed Himself
through it and beamed Himself back into physical form of flesh
and bone. He stood there inside the tomb, and glorified the
Father in heaven for His watchful love and power.
It did not matter that the great stone was still over the
entrance to the tomb, and was sealed shut by the soldiers that
Pilate had sent on the request of the Jewish religious
leaders. Jesus just "beamed" Himself, so to speak, through the
walls of the tomb, and stood outside in His invisible form, the
soldiers guarding the tomb, completely oblivious to what had
There was singing and joyful praising going on by all the
angels and created beings in heaven. They were praising the
heavenly Father for His glory and His power. Jesus had overcome
SIN and DEATH. And Christ was the very FIRST of millions of more
humans that one day would also be raised to eternal IMMORTAL
GLORY! Yes, this was a time to praise and give the Father great
We are not told what Jesus did the rest of that night, but
then we are not told what Jesus did on many days (only some
events we are told) while still on earth after His resurrection,
and before going back to heaven to sit on the Father's right
THE LADIES COME TO THE TOMB
From all the Gospel accounts we learn that specifically
planning to come to the tomb was Mary Magdalene, whom Christ had
cast out seven demons. She was as we have seen one of His most
faithful followers. The other Mary was the mother James and
Joses. Mark informs us that a lady by the name of Salome was with
them. Salome was the wife of Zebedee, and the mother of James and
John. From Luke ( chap.14: 10) Joanna, wife of Chuza, Herod's
steward (see Luke 8: 3), was also with them. Luke only
mentions the two Mary's but says other women were there also.
This could mean the women Salome and Joanna, but it could have
been possible that more than those FOUR women were part of the
party who were going to visit Jesus' tomb.
The two Sabbaths had come and gone, the one Sabbath of the
15th of Nisan which was a Thursday, and the weekly Sabbath had
come and gone. The ladies had no idea that Jesus had risen from
the dead in the early hours of what we call Saturday evening,
which to the Jews was the early ours of the first day of the
week. Matthew says, "After the Sabbath, and as it began to
illuminate or grow light towards the first of the week...."
Albert Barnes, in his famous Bible Commentary, explains it
all this way:
"The word 'dawn' is not necessity in the originals. The word
here properly means, as the first day 'approached,' or drew on,
without specifying the precise time. Mark says (16: 1, 2) that it
was after 'the Sabbath was past and very early in the morning, at
the rising of the sun,' i.e., not that the sun was risen, but
that it was ABOUT TO RISE, or at the early break of day. Luke
says (24: 10), that it was very early; in the Greek, DEEP
TWILIGHT, or when there was scarcely any light. John (20: 1)
says, it was 'early, when it was yet DARK,' i.e., that is, it was
not YET full daylight, or the sun had NOT risen. The time when
they came therefore, was at the break of day, when the sun was
about to rise, but while it was yet so dark as to render objects
OBSCURE, or not DISTINCTLY visible"
(Barnes' Notes on the New Testament, single volume edition).
Yes, the ladies had prepared the anointing preservative
spices before the weekly Sabbath, had rested on the weekly
Sabbath according to the commandment of the Lord, and could
hardly sleep all that Saturday night, waiting with great
anticipation the time when they would set off for the tomb where
Jesus lay. And as John clearly tells us, they were up and walking
to the tomb WHILE it was YET DARK, when people and objects
could not be well seen.
Now, it would seem, as they were getting close to the tomb,
they started to realize in a practical way, that they would not
have the physical strength, even among all of them together, to
push away the great stone that covered the entrance to the tomb.
And besides that fact, there were soldiers guarding the tomb, how
were they going to get permission to enter the tomb and embalm
They discussed these two problems, what seemed then, as
impossible obstacles to their dreams and plans of showing loving
care towards Jesus. They did not know how they were going to
overcome those two hindrances to what they wanted to do, but they
kept their faith in knowing that somehow God would provide the
answer and make their loving deed come to reality.
This is a wonderful example of faith in action, a faith that
could remove mountains, but this time in the specific, a faith
that could remove a huge stone and remove soldiers guarding it.
GOD HAD ANSWERED THE LADIES PRAYERS
God in heaven saw the faith and love of those women. He had
made it all possible for them to be the first to see inside the
NOW empty tomb. It is Matthew who records it for us as it had
happened. Sometime BEFORE the ladies ever reached the tomb,
Matthew put it this way as translated in the KJV, "And behold,
there was a great earthquake; for the angel of the Lord descended
from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door,
and sat upon it. His appearance was like lightning, and his
raiment white as snow. And for fear of him the keepers did shake,
and became as dead men" (Mat.28: 2-4).
The key here is the little word "was", the fourth word in as
given in the KJV. In the Greek this word is in the "aorist"
tense, meaning a single action done and completed in the PAST!
What Matthew actually wrote and said was, "And behold there
HAD BEEN a great earthquake....."
Sometime AFTER Jesus' resurrection in the early hours of
Saturday evening or the first day of the week (as God counts the
beginning of days) and BEFORE the ladies arrived at the tomb,
while it was YET DARK, on that Sunday morning, of still the same
first day of the week, an angel from God had come down, the
soldiers fainted at his sight, and lay as if dead on the ground.
The angel then rolled away the stone to the entrance of the tomb.
All of this was done because God was honoring the faith and love
those women He knew were coming to the tomb that early, but dark,
JESUS IS NOT IN THE TOMB!
The ladies were getting all uptight but excited at the same
time, as they were coming around the last corner towards the
tomb. When they turned this corner the tomb would be in front of
them, but as they thought so would be the stone in the entrance
way and the soldiers guarding it all.
What a SHOCK came across all faces, mouths dropped open,
eyes blinked twice and three times, they froze in their tracks.
None could believe what they were seeing. None could speak for a
few seconds. It was as if it was all a dream. Still no one saying
a word, they slowly moved closer to the tomb. Finally they
realized it was all very true what they were seeing....the stone
had been rolled away, the entrance to the tomb was OPEN, and the
soldiers keeping guard....well they were laying on the ground as
if they were dead men.
The ladies now looked at each other, puzzled, yes, having
joy in their hearts, yes, but also they were scared to some
point. For how on earth they thought and said to each other,
could this be possible. Then thoughts crossed their mind that
some men had already come, killed the soldiers, rolled away the
stone to the entrance, and had stolen Jesus' body. Some, with
this thought in their minds, fell to their knees and started to
weep in sorrow.
It was all too much for Mary Magdalene, she could take no
more of all this. She had been faithful in staying with Jesus all
the while as He was being crucified on the cross, she had stayed
around when all others had forsaken and left Jesus dead on the
cross. She had waited and had seen that finally Joseph and
Nicodemus had come back to take Jesus down from the tree of
death. She had followed them to where they placed Jesus in this
tomb. She had helped prepare the embalming spices on the Friday,
had patiently waited through the hours of the weekly Sabbath. She
had risen while it was yet dark, on the first day of the week,
and was now standing here in front of the tomb. The stone had
been rolled away, the soldiers were as if dead men. Someone she
thought had come and taken Jesus out of the tomb and now no one
knew where they had lain Him.
It was all just too much for this Mary. Running with tears
falling down her cheeks, away she went, back to Jerusalem, crying
her heart out. She ran and she ran, finally making it to where
Peter and the disciple that Jesus loved (which most believe it to
be John who is relating this to us) were staying.
With tears streaming down her face, she said to them, "My
heart is breaking. I've been to where they laid Jesus in the
tomb. Someone has taken the Lord out of the tomb, and I am in
great agony of mind, for I do not know where they have laid Him"
Peter and the other disciple could really not believe her.
They were thinking she was just too emotionally upset at all that
had transpired over the last three day. They were to Mary
dragging their feet as we might say. She could see they were not
really believing her. With another outburst of loud crying, she
turned and started back as fast as her legs could go, back to the
tomb. Maybe she thought, if she just waited at the tomb someone
would eventually come along who would know what had happened to
Jesus' body and where it had been taken.
MEANWHILE AT THE TOMB
Back at the tomb, where the other ladies were still in shock
and amazement, still very puzzled about what they were seeing and
what it all meant. SUDDENLY they saw, sitting on the huge stone
that had been over the entrance, the ANGEL of the Lord that had
come down previously and had rolled away the stone. He was bright
and glorious...they were at first very afraid, but the angel soon
calmed them down to a degree by saying to them, "Do not be
afraid; for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is
not here; for He has risen, as He said. Come, see the place where
He lay. Then go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen
from the dead, and He is going before you to Galilee; there you
will see him. Yes, I have told you what is truth" (Mat.20: 5-7).
The angel said those words and then he was gone, just
vanished out of their sight. The ladies looked at one another
wondering if they really had seen and heard what they thought
they had just seen and heard. They were not sure, could it really
be true they thought. They decided they must enter the tomb and
see if Jesus was inside or was really gone. So inside they went,
looking around none could see the body of Jesus. Had they indeed
seen an angel? Did they indeed hear that angel say Jesus had
risen from the dead? The whole thing for them was perplexing.
Then as they were thinking and looking, behold SUDDENLY ONCE
MORE......not just one angel, but this time TWO angels
appeared next to them, in dazzling apparel! They were frightened
out of their minds, and bowed their heads to the ground. Once
more they did not know what to think, by now it had all become a
little too much, their minds were in a spin. Then one of the
"Do not be amazed or frightened. Why do you seek the living
among the dead? You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He
has RISEN, He is not here; see the place where they laid Him.
Remember how He told you, while He was still in Galilee, that
the Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men,
and be crucified, and on the third day rise from being dead. He
had RISEN! Go, tell his disciples and Peter, that He is going
ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see Him" (Luke 24: 4-7;
Mark 16: 5-7).
The ladies were astonished, still very unnerved by all they
had seen and heard. Trembling, they quickly left the tomb. They
spoke not a word to each other, but started back to Jerusalem,
determined to say nothing about what they had witnessed, for they
feared people would think they had gone insane.
As they were just a little way from the tomb, who should
they see coming back towards them but Mary Magdalene. She came
closer and in passing the other women now returning to Jerusalem,
she said to them, "No one will believe what I told them, that
someone has taken Jesus out of the tomb, and put Him somewhere
else....they just will not believe me."
The other ladies said not a word to her, but passed her by
as they set out back to Jerusalem.
MARY MAGDALENE THE FIRST TO SEE THE RISEN JESUS
Mary reached the tomb still weeping. She looked inside and
saw the two angels in white, that the other ladies had just seen.
They were sitting where Jesus' body had been laid to rest. One
where Jesus' head had been and one where His feet had been.
The angels saw Mary looking in and said to her, "Woman, why are
you weeping?" She replied, "Because they have taken away my Lord,
and I do not know where they have put Him."
As she said this she felt that someone was behind her,
turning around she saw a man. It was Jesus Himself, but she did
not know it was Him. Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you
weeping? Whom do you seek?"
"Well sir," Mary replied, thinking she was speaking to the
gardener, "if you have carried him away, please tell me where you
have put Him, and I will take Him away with me, and take good
care of Him."
Jesus then said to her, "Mary." Her heart dropped to the
bottom of her feet, then sprang back up again. She exclaimed with
the biggest smile anyone could possibly give, "Rabboni!" (a
Hebrew word). Which meaning is "TEACHER." She KNEW, YES SHE
KNEW......IT WAS JESUS! How her heart leapt for joy, she was
floating on air, up on cloud nine as we say. She wanted to dance
around, dance the fastest and most joyful dance any Jewish girl
could possibly do. She wanted to go over and touch Him, hug Him,
just to makes sure this was a reality, that what she saw with her
eyes and heard with her hearing....that it really was her
TEACHER, her MASTER, her LORD.
Jesus knew she wanted to come and touch Him, and so said to
her, "Do not hold or touch me, for I have not yet ascended to the
Father; but go to my brethren and say to them that I am ascending
to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God"
(John 20: 11-18).
We are not given much more than the words above, to explain
to us this fact that Jesus had to ascend to the Father before any
physical human could touch Him. I will discuss it more as to what
it may have been all about, in a short while.
Mary was ecstatic, overjoyed, she had seen the Lord and He
had talked to her. Mark is the one Gospel writer that records
that Mary Magdalene was the first human person that Jesus
appeared to. Part of the reason as to why it was to Mary
Magdalene that He first appeared must be the fact that she not
only loved Him so much, but was probably the leader among the
women to (1) stay near His cross all the time, even after His
death. (2) follow Joseph and Nicodemus to see where they laid
Jesus (3) determine to buy spices and prepare them and come and
anoint Jesus' body, while it was yet dark in those early hours of
the daylight portion of the first day of the week.
All of this, what took place as the sun was about to rise on
that first day of the week, during the feast of Unleavened Bread
in 30 A.D. is a wonderful testimony to the devotion and love of
some of the women among Jesus' disciples.
Mary Magdalene was off as fast as she could go, like being
chased by a wild bear. She was off to do as Jesus had instructed
her to do. The joy she was feeling made her legs move and run
like never before in her life. Soon she had caught up to the
others ladies who were already making their way back to
Jerusalem. She told them what had happened to her at the tomb,
and how Jesus had appeared to her, and talked to her. All
were now beginning to see they had not been in a dream, not
imagining things. They realized too many things had happened, and
so it was indeed a reality. They then recalled how Jesus had
spoken in the past about how He must suffer at the hands of
sinners, be put to death, but rise again after three days.
It all began to click together for them, their minds
becoming clearer and clearer on everything. Yes, now they knew it
was all true what they had witnessed, they now knew Jesus was
ALIVE, that He had been RAISED from the dead, and was alive
forever more. They had a deep fearful awe for God and His power
and great joy at the same time.
JESUS APPEARS TO ALL THE WOMEN
All the ladies who had come out early that Sunday morning
and had experienced all that they saw and heard, and Mary
Magdalene now having seen Jesus, were busy talking about it all,
and relating many stories of Jesus as they had in the past
followed Him at times when He preached and taught and healed
people. Oh, how busy they were talking about it all as they made
their way back to Jerusalem to tell everything that had
happened to Jesus' other disciples, especially to the eleven.
They had no idea what was about to take place.
Suddenly, out of the blue, Jesus met and appeared to them,
saying, "Hail!" How splendid, how grand, how royal it was. All
of the ladies knew it was Jesus, no question about it. They all
ran up to Him and falling at His feet, taking hold of them, they
Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid; go and tell my
brethren to go into Galilee, and there they will see me" (Mat.28:
You will notice when Jesus appeared to all the ladies, He
allowed them to touch Him! Yes, they took HOLD of His feet!
He would not, shortly before, allow Mary Magdalene to touch
Him, for He had said to her that He had not yet ascended to His
Father in heaven, but NOW He does allow them all to touch Him.
There is ONLY one answer. In the time when He appeared to Mary
Magdalene and the time He appeared to all the women making their
way back to Jerusalem, He had ascended to heaven, appeared before
the Father and had returned to earth.
JESUS THE FIRST OF THE FIRST FRUITS
What seems like a strange happening, Jesus going to heaven,
and back again in a relatively short time, before anyone was
allowed to touch Him, may be answered in the symbolism of what
the priests did at this time, even on this day, Sunday morning,
in the Temple.
God through Moses, had given instruction to Israel that the
new year harvest of barley grain could not be started to be
gathered in UNTIL the first cutting of it had been done and
presented or offered in the Temple by the priests, on the first
day of the week, DURING the feast of Unleavened Bread.
It is also very interesting that the Sadducees, cut the
first sheaf of the new barley grain harvest AFTER the weekly
Sabbath had ENDED, hence a fist day of the week cutting, or what
we call Saturday evening. Then they ground it up, put it in a
basket or container of some kind, and waved it around while
holding it, in a Temple ritual early on the first day of the week
(our Sunday) during the feast of Unleavened Bread.
All of this it would seem, Jesus fulfilled. He was
resurrected in the first hours of the first day of the week, or
Saturday evening, after the weekly Sabbath had ended. As Mark
records for us, "Now when He was risen early the first day of the
week...."(Mark 16: 9). Risen within the first hours of the first
day, which in God's counting of days, begins at evening time
(Genesis 1). Indeed it is just not possible that the disciples
did not know WHEN Jesus had been resurrected to life. Many must
have asked Him, and He must have told them, for there would be no
reason for Him not to tell them.
The apostle Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15, that Jesus is
the FIRST of the FIRSTFRUITS, and others will be at His coming.
All in the first resurrection at the coming of Jesus in glory
back to this earth, will be "firstfruits" to God the Father. The
day of Pentecost is to be held on the first day of the week, our
Jesus ascended to heaven, to the Father, on the first day of
the week, and back again on that same day. Before he ascended no
human person could touch Him, but after ascending He did allow
people to touch Him.
The whole symbolism is just to coincidental to ignore. Jesus
was the wave sheaf in type. He was the FIRST to ever be raised to
glorified, immortal life. He was the first of the firstfruits to
God the Father from the human population of the earth. Those in
the first resurrection will be "firstfruits" according to the
apostle Paul. The feast of Pentecost, which pictures the coming
of the Holy Spirit upon the first New Testament church, is on
the first day of the week.
Jesus fulfilled the wave sheaf offering. It was being
offered in the Temple right at the time He was ascending and
descending to the Father and back again to the earth, on that
morning of the first day of the week, during the feast of
Unleavened Bread. He was in heaven for that short period of time,
to be accepted as the spiritual human/resurrected wave sheaf
before God the Father.
The ladies who had come to that tomb, that early morning,
were now exhilarated, elate, stimulated with heartened spirit of
mind. They had seen and touched the risen Christ. They were told
to go and tell Jesus' other disciples who were in Jerusalem. This
they would do gladly, but would anyone believe their words?
Written February 2003
This section of the harmony of the Gospels is extremely hard to
put into chronological order. With the help of the Holy Spirit I
believe I may have come close to harmonizing it.