Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes. But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her. [NRSV]
Not only is the first person to preach and proclaim the resurrection a friend of Jesus, it is one of the women. In John’s gospel account Mary comes to the grave site alone and in the darkness of the early hours. She sees the tomb opened and unsealed and runs to tell the news. But the news is not Good News with the first look at the empty tomb. It is after the two and more look at what was first a sigh of foul play or bad news, later becomes the greatest of Good News.
There is an Easter message to those who hear for the first time… Come and see that Jesus Lives (Mary First visit)
There is an Easter message to those who have search and found nothing life saving… Go and ask for other Witnesses (Mary Going and only seeing and hearing the emptiness of the tomb)
There is an Easter message for those who have heard but stayed away… Come and help me figure out what happened (Mary asking for others to join the quest/journey)
There is an Easter message for those willing to come back and hang around, even after the show is over… (Mary returns with witness and sticks with it… not giving up even though the first visit was empty) Most folks who come Easter Sunday can join here.
There is an Easter message of new life to SHARE… Well? Get to it! Happy Easter, Christ LIves, Go tell