Wednesday Word: The Empty Tomb
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, or when the sun had risen (depending on which gospel you read), Mary Magdalene and various women go to the tomb where Jesus was laid to either finish the burial rite or to simply mourn his death.
People can get caught up in the minutiae of an event that leads them to miss or invalidate the prime truth the event, and this is one of them. Was it still dark or wasn't it? Was it only Mary Magdalene at the tomb, or was her and another woman, or was it her and three or four other women? Did they bring spices or didn't they? Was the rock already rolled away or was it rolled away as they approached? Again, it depends on which gospel story you read. But none of that is the prime truth of the event.
The prime truth of the event, and therefore the prime truth of the gospel, all four of them, is that the tomb was empty. The women went to the tomb to finish the burial rite, and the tomb was empty. Mary went alone to the tomb to mourn the death of her friend, and the tomb was empty. And after seeing the empty tomb, there are four different response.
The women go and tell the disciples, and they are believed. The women flee in terror and say nothing to anyone. The women go and tell the disciples, and are dismissed as silly women. Mary tells two of the disciples who then run to verify her account.
The tomb is empty. We are now in the position of the women. Will we tell people about the good news of the resurrection, or will we say nothing to anyone for fear of how we will be perceived?
The tomb is empty.
Alleluia! Christ is risen!