Joseph was a rich man who had followed Jesus. Joseph asked Pilate
if he could care for Jesus' body, and Pilate agreed. Joseph made
sure that Jesus' body was wrapped in a clean white cloth and laid
in a special tomb carved from solid rock. Then a large stone was
placed in front of the opening to the tomb.
The Pharisees asked Pilate to place guards at the tomb to make
sure that no one could steal Jesus' body.
After the Sabbath, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early in the
morning while it was still dark. When she reached the tomb, she
found that the stone was rolled away! She turned and ran back down
the road until she came to Peter and John.
"They have taken our Lord out of the tomb!" she cried. "I don't
know where they have put Him!"
The disciples ran on to the tomb, and found the strips of white
cloth that had been on Jesus. But Jesus was gone! They didn't know
what to think. The disciples returned to their homes.
Mary remained at the tomb, crying. But when she looked up, she saw
two angels dressed in white.
"Why are you crying, Mary?" asked the angels.
"They took my Lord. I don't know where they have put Him." Then
Mary saw a man. She thought He was the gardener. "Sir," she asked,
"If You have taken Him away, please tell me—"
"Mary," He said. And instantly, Mary realized it was Jesus
standing right in front of her!
"Teacher!" she cried.
"Do not touch Me," said Jesus, "for I haven't been to the Father
yet. But go and tell the others that I am returning to My Father,
who is also your Father." So Mary ran and told the others that
Jesus was alive! Jesus had risen from the dead!
Joseph from Arimathea was an important man, and he loved Jesus. It took courage for him to go and ask for the boy of Jesus and take charge of its burial. Most men in his position would not have wanted to risk their reputation by being associated with this scandal.
Are we afraid to be associated with Jesus because of what our unbelieving friends might think? Instead of being afraid, consider what a wonderful opportunity we have to share the good news of Jesus with others. We don't have to beat unbelievers over the head with God's message. A gentle and loving disposition is much more effective.
Mary Recognizes Jesus
In her grief, Mary supposed the person she saw in the private cemetery was the groundskeeper. But when he spoke her name, Mary knew it was Jesus. No word is more personal than your name. When your closest friend pronounces that most personal word, it's hard to mistake who is speaking. No matter how deep your grief or despair, listen for the voice of Jesus to speak your name and bear that grief with with you.