Mary Magdalene was one of a group of women who went to give Jesus the full burial treatment they had not had time for Friday evening. None of the women entered the tomb but did see that it was empty. Mary ran to the disciples, two of whom ran to the tomb.
That is a lot of running for that culture. Men, and especially women, did not run. John made a point of the fact so we would understand their emotional state. Running for them could be compared to the average American changing clothes on a busy sidewalk; it’s just not done.
John does not list the names of the women who went to the tomb, but we know there were several because Mary said, “we.” The other name left out is the “other disciple,” generally believed to be John.
Both men entered the tomb, saw the neatly folded cloth, and the “other disciple” believed. This is a personal statement by the one who believed, that is, by John. He did not try to speak for Peter, only for himself. No doubt, they talked about what they had felt when they returned, but John-the-story-teller wants us to know about one man’s personal belief.
Yet, the story is only beginning. We next see Mary near the tomb, talking with a stranger who finally reveals himself to be Jesus. How would we react? Imagine sitting in a hospital waiting room after being told your loved one died on the operating table. The emptiness and sorrowfulness would be overwhelming. Then imagine a nurse rushes in an hour later to say he is alive. I can see every emotion and bodily sensation rolling through me like a thunder storm.
Whatever she felt, Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” NIV Possibly the greatest one-liner in Christian history.
Peter took more words to give the same message. And he commanded us to preach the gospel to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God has appointed judge of the living and the dead. GNT In other words, to do what Mary did.
Paul takes the message to its conclusion, but we need to begin reading at verse 12, just before today’s assignment. Now, since our message is that Christ has been raised from death, how can some of you say that the dead will not be raised to life? If that is true, it means that Christ was not raised; and if Christ has not been raised from death, then we have nothing to preach and you have nothing to believe. GNT
If I believe Mary, I must accept the whole of the Gospel. Either Jesus walked out of the grave in a new body or Christianity is a lie. There is no middle ground.
Be righteous and do good.