The Reading: Matthew 28:1-15
“… ran to tell his disciples …” (v. 8) RSV
What a lovely picture this is! Imagine the gaggle of grieving women who come at first light to the tomb of Jesus to anoint his dead body. They haven’t considered how they will remove the stone – but grief is not reasonable. Then they are confronted by an open tomb guarded by angels, and if that was not astounding enough, they are met on their way back to the disciples by Jesus himself.
They were running to witness to what they had discovered. They were eye witnesses to the empty tomb and the angel’s message. They hadn’t got the full picture, but witnessing is not about telling the full story. Witnessing is about telling what we (ourselves) have seen and heard and touched (1 John 1:1). Of course, the rest of the picture was to be given them when the risen Jesus met them on the way. They now had even more to report to the disciples.
I expect they were bitterly disappointed when they burst into the room and told the disciples all that they had seen and heard only to find the men were less than persuaded. They presumed that the women were deluded. We cannot expect everyone to be persuaded by our witness. We are often treated with mild derision. We are thought to be somewhat sad and simple.
At least some were prepared to at least look into what the women claimed. Peter and John ran off to see for themselves. Some people will take us seriously enough to look into the faith for themselves. Take heart. Graciously tell it at you see it.
Thank Lord for those first witnesses to your resurrection. Help me not to be ashamed, even if I can’t explain. May I be a witness for you. Amen.
1. Who was the first witness of Jesus’ resurrection?
John 20:1, 11-18
2. Note the forecast of the resurrection of the dead?
Daniel 12:2 (quoted by Jesus in John 5:28-29)