By Caleb Kelly
One misty early morning, three women were out walking a secluded path around the base of a hill. The sun had not yet climbed above the distant mountain peaks.
Suddenly, they felt the ground shake under their sandaled feet.
“What was that?” wondered Mary, the mother of James, picking herself up off the dirt. (For she had fallen.)
“I’m sure I don’t know,” answered Salome.
“Why don’t we just turn back?” Mary the mother of James suggested. “It’s so cold that I can’t even feel my fingers!”
“Are you both forgetting why we came all this way?” A quiet voice was heard. It was Mary Magdalene. “Why we are carrying all these spices?” She held up one of the jars she was carrying.
Mary and Salome glanced at one another. After a moment of the silence save birds chirping, Mary spoke.
“No, it’s just that. . .” she trailed off, probably thinking how futile her excuse sounded. Then, as if making up her mind, she smiled up at Mary Magdalene. “Let’s go anoint our Lord.
The three of them resumed their walk to Jesus’ tomb, but before they got there, Salome grabbed Mary’s arm
“What is it?” Mary asked Salome, turning to face her.
“The stone,” Salome said. Seeing the confused look on Mary Magdalene’s face, she explained. “The stone, the stone covering the entrance to the tomb; how are we to move it to get inside?”
Mary Magdalene’s heart plummeted. How indeed were they to get into the tomb? She had been so focused on getting to the tomb that she didn’t even think about what they would do once they got there.
“I don’t know,” Mary Magdalene admitted, “but we must continue on.” New resolve strengthened her voice. “We must honor our Lord. Perhaps He will help us.”
When they arrived at the entrance to the tomb, a surprising sight met their eyes. The stone, the very same one they were just talking about, was rolled away from the opening. On it sat what appeared to be a man. Upon closer investigation, however, it was revealed otherwise.
His robe was like that of snow, and when the women saw him, they trembled with fear and fell to the ground.
The angel, (for that was what it was) noticing their fright, spoke to them in a calming manner with a voice like thunder.
“Do not be afraid. I know you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who died and was buried here. But He is no longer here, for He has risen. I will show you where He was lain.”
Dropping down from his seat on the stone, the angel continued, “But I do have a task for you: tell Jesus’ disciples that He has risen and will meet them in a place called Galilee.”
Ducking inside the low entrance to the tomb, the angel led the three women, who were still quite afraid, but wouldn’t dare defy an angel of the Lord, into the near darkness of the tomb.
He showed them the rock ledge where Jesus was laid, and He wasn’t there.
Stepping out of the tomb, Mary Magdalene blinked as the sun, which had now fully risen from behind the distant mountains, hit her eyes.
“The sun has risen,” remarked Salome, who had just stepped out from the tomb, and like Mary, noticed the sun.
Mary smiled up at it.
“The Son has Risen, indeed.”