Jesus Appears in the Garden
October 10 - Nº 283 Matthew 28:9-15; Mark 16:9-11; Luke 24:9-12; John 20:2-18
An angel at the empty tomb told the women to run and tell the disciples that Jesus had risen from the dead and that he planned to meet them in Galilee. The women hurried off. They tried to explain everything to the disciples, but they were so confused and excited that their words didn’t make much sense. They blurted out that the tomb was empty, but the disciples would not believe it. Somehow Mary Magdalene convinced Peter and John to investigate. The two men took off running—and Mary followed. John arrived at the tomb first. When he looked inside, he could see the linen strips, but he didn’t dare go in. Entering a tomb would make him unclean. But when Peter arrived, he did not hesitate. He went straight in. He saw only the linen strips as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus’ head. Finally, John entered the tomb as well. Immediately he was convinced that Jesus had risen from the dead! But Peter wasn’t so sure. He kept trying to figure out what else could have happened. When Mary arrived, the disciples had already left. She stood alone outside the tomb crying. When she finally looked inside, she saw the two angels. They asked her, “Why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she sobbed, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” As she turned away from the tomb, she saw a man standing there. She did not know that it was Jesus. “Why are you crying?” he asked. “Who are you looking for?” Through teary eyes she mistakenly thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “If you have carried his body away, please tell me where it is so I can get it.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned toward him and cried out, “Teacher!” She ran to embrace him. “Don’t cling to me, for I have not yet returned to my Father,” he lovingly informed her. “But I want you to go and tell my brothers that I am going to return to my Father, Who is your Father; and to my God, Who is your God.” When the other women arrived back at the garden, they saw Jesus, too. “Greetings,” he said. They bowed at his feet and clung to him. “Do not be afraid,” he said. “Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee. They will see me there.” The women found the disciples and shared everything that Jesus had said. But instead of going straight to Galilee—as Jesus had instructed—they went back to Jerusalem. They weren’t sure what to think. None of them had seen Jesus yet. Meanwhile, some of the soldiers who had been guarding the tomb when the angel arrived, went into the city to tell the chief priests what had happened. The religious leaders did not dispute their story, but they came up with their own. They offered the guards a large amount of money and told them, “We will give you this if you say that the disciples came during the night and stole the body while you were asleep. If this gets you in trouble with the Roman authorities for failing to do your duties properly, we will go to Pilate and get you out of trouble.” The soldiers took the money and spread the lie. Unfortunately, many of the Jews believed them.
Seeing the evidence that the tomb was empty did not help any of the women or the disciples deal with their sorrow. It wasn’t until they believed that Jesus was alive that they were able to experience true joy and hope. This belief transforms lives.