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The first day of the week
Always searching, sometimes finding
George Martin clr.jpg
Rev. George Martin

It was the first day of the week, and that was said in all four Gospel accounts of Jesus resurrection from the dead; and the tomb was empty. The body of Jesus, their teacher was missing, gone, only cloth and clothing was in the tomb.

Most ran away, not understanding; but Mary Magdalene, a stalwart woman, and others, kept looking and wondering and asking, “Where have they taken him. She had a purpose. She had oils and spices to anoint him. She wanted to tend to the dead in a way of respect by embalming. And the stone was rolled away and the tomb was empty. And still she asked, still confused, “Where have they taken him.”

In Marks Gospel they saw the heavy stone had been rolled away. As they entered it they saw a young man dressed in a white robe. He said to them, “Do not be alarmed... He has been raised. He is not here...But go and tell his disciples.”

Matthew, in his Gospel tells of a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven came and rolled back the stone. Then the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised... go quickly and tell his disciples... and he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.”

Luke gives this account. The women who had come with him from Galilee, saw the tomb and how his body was laid. Then they returned, and prepared spices and ointments. On the Sabbath they rested. But on the first day of the week, at dawn, they came to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away, but when they went in, they did not find the body. Suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them, and said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.”    

John tells the story in his words, “Mary Magdalene came to the tomb, and saw the stone had been removed, so she went to Simon Peter and another disciple, who ran and went into the tomb. But Mary stood outside weeping, and she stooped to look inside, and saw two angels in white, sitting where the body was, and they asked, why are you crying? 

She turned and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not recognize him. “Sir,” she said, “If you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.”

Jesus said to her, “Mary!” and Mary responded in Hebrew “Rabbouni.” The recognition had come to Mary Magdalene. 

Since that time, and one-hundred and one generation’s later, men and women throughout the world have shouted the Gospel truth: “Alleluia. He is Risen! He is risen indeed. Alleluia!”  

The Rev. George O. Martin is an Ordained Deacon at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 17th and Adams, Great Bend. Send email to