When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so they could go and anoint Him. Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they went to the tomb at sunrise. They were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone from the entrance to the tomb for us?” Looking up, they observed that the stone—which was very large—had been rolled away. When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; they were amazed and alarmed.
“Don’t be alarmed,” he told them. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has been resurrected! He is not here! See the place where they put Him. But go, tell His disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you to Galilee; you will see Him there just as He told you.’” So they went out and started running from the tomb, because trembling and astonishment overwhelmed them. And they said nothing to anyone, since they were afraid.
Early on the first day of the week, after He had risen, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had driven seven demons. She went and reported to those who had been with Him, as they were mourning and weeping. Yet, when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe it. Then after this, He appeared in a different form to two of them walking on their way into the country. And they went and reported it to the rest, who did not believe them either.
I love the devotion of these women. While the men hid in fear, the women took action. They were going to honor Jesus in his burial. Perhaps, also, women were considered less dangerous by the authorities and so felt safer showing allegiance to Jesus.
I wonder if the women knew an angel was speaking to them? Too bad Mary, the mother of Jesus wasn't with them. She could have said, "Oh, yea, this guy looks familiar."
The angel's words, "go tell his disciples and Peter" indicates that perhaps Peter felt he could no longer be considered Jesus' disciple because of his betrayals the night before. It is awful to think about how Peter was feeling, the sorrow, the heartache. That the angel called him out by name shows such loving compassion. Peter is not the focus of this story, but the angel takes a moment to sooth his heart.
And then the women are so freaked out by what they have just seen and experienced, they completely ignore the angel's instructions and tell no one. Even when Mary Magdalene has seen Jesus and tells the others he is indeed ALIVE, no one believes.
We have such a hard time thinking outside our preconceived thought boxes. Oh, how greatly we must desire intimacy with the Holy Spirit, so we can know what is true.