You have probably read the scriptures about the resurrection of Jesus many times but have you read them all together? It will paint quite a picture when you see them this way. Each writer gave his point of view of what was seen the day the ladies came to the tomb or sepulchre. Take note and get ready to see a new visual of the day Jesus resurrected.
* Matthew *
In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. 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 countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. Matthew 28:1-7 KJV
In the first account from Matthew we read there was an earthquake exactly when Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of Jesus and the other ladies arrived to anoint the body of Jesus with spices. An angel of the Lord descended from heaven and they saw him roll the stone back. Not only did he roll it back but he then sat upon it. I don’t know about you but that in itself would be breathtaking.
Not only did the women see this event happen but so did the soldiers who were left on guard of the entrance. The ladies were told to go tell the other disciples that he is risen from the dead.
* Mark *
And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid. Mark 16:1-8 KJV
On this second passage written by Mark we see the ladies heading towards the tomb with spices. We find out Salome is with Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Jesus and of James. So who is Salome? The Strong’s dictionary reveals this is the wife of Zebedee. She is also the mother of the Apostle John. Salome is also the sister of Mary, mother of Jesus. We can also say she was the Lord’s aunt.
Have you ever thought about something and then the Lord answers you in some form you weren’t expecting? I love those moments and I am most certain he loves to answer us in moments like these in a super exciting way. It appears as they all wondered the same thing at the same time about the huge stone covering the entrance God answered them in a mighty way. He caused an earthquake, the angel descended and moved the stone away for them. Wow! That was truly an amazing way to answer their question.
They then proceed to enter the sepulchre and see a man standing on the right side clothed in a white garment. Of course they were afraid. But again, this angel told them the same thing the other angel said which is, “He is not here. He is risen.”
Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept. Mark 16:9-10 KJV
At this point it is unclear when the account above happened or why it was just Mary Magdalene but it appears to be as the others had gone back to tell the disciples this is when Jesus revealed himself to Mary Magdalene. It would make sense why she was the only one that saw him.
* Luke *
Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered his words, And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest. It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles. Luke 24:1-10 KJV
In the passage that Luke wrote we get another part of the story. The ladies were going to anoint the body of Jesus. We see a new name added among the women. Her name is Joanna. From the Strong’s dictionary we find out Joanna is the wife of Chuza. And who is Chuza you ask? Further reading reveals he is also a follower of Jesus and a servant of Herod.
After an angel descended from heaven and rolled the stone away from the entrance in front of these ladies they entered and stood inside the sepulcher. As they stood there two more angels appeared next to them and told them what Jesus said and why were they looking for him here. Then they ran to tell the others.
* John *
The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.” John 20:1-2 KJV
On this last entry given by the Apostle John we see the ladies came as the other three passages describe but we get a little more information revealed. Sometimes it may seem there are discrepancies in the Gospels but when you put the four Gospels together you will see the whole picture of an event.
Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. John 20:3-8 KJV
Peter and John raced to the sepulchre to see what Mary and the other ladies were talking about. They arrive and they see the stone away from the entrance they then proceed to enter.
Before they enter they lean in and they see the linen cloth Jesus was wrapped in. The napkin that covered Jesus’ head was not together with the other linen. It was folded or wrapped separately in a place by itself. Then they believed what the ladies told them.
Then the disciples went away again unto their own home. But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her. Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. John 20:10-19 KJV
And now finally we get more information as to why Mary Magdalene saw Jesus first. While everyone else went home she stayed at the sepulchre weeping at the entrance. I am certain she was still not making sense of the things she had seen and was wondering where is he? Maybe even a little doubt was present even after she saw the miraculous movement of the stone, the angel siting outside the sepulchre, the linen which wrapped the Lord.
As she stood there weeping she saw two angels appear inside the sepulchre. One where his head would have been and the other where his feet would have been. This would now make a total of four angels who appeared and spoke to her. Right after she hears the question from the angel she turns around and sees a man. She doesn’t know who this man is. She thinks he is the gardener but one word from Him and her eyes were opened. She recognized it was Jesus just because he called her name. When you are in a relationship with Jesus you will recognize his voice. He then told her to go tell the other disciples and she went back and was able to also share she SAW the Lord personally.
Praise the Lord! We hope you enjoyed this spiritual insight.