"After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the tomb." Matt. 28:1 CEB
Before we conclude our Lenten journey through the Gospel of Matthew, I would like to make one last devotional observational. Chapter 28 tells of the story of the very first Easter, in which Matthew’s version shares that two women, Mary Magdalene and “the other Mary” journeyed very early in the morning to the tomb where Jesus was buried. They went to anoint his body with spices because there was no time to do so when he was laid in the tomb. According to Matthew, they went “at dawn.” John’s version of that morning in his Gospel states that they journeyed “while it was still dark.”
You can only imagine what was going through their minds as they made that journey. Jesus had given them such great hope in their despair. He had spoken to them like no one else had. Words of comfort, love mercy, and confident expectations for the future. Words that promised forgiveness of their sins, of healing for their ailments and hurts, of a love that transcends any love that is of the world. Many had claimed that he was the long-awaited Messiah that the prophets of old had foretold would come to save and deliver them.
But now he was gone. Endured a very public and painful death. Their hopes were dashed. So, they made this journey to his resting place while it was still dark.
Yet, when they arrived it was clear that God had been at work in the darkness. An angel appears to roll away the stone and declared that the tomb is empty. Hope was found in the darkness of an empty tomb. He is alive!
It is a reminder to us all, that when our lives seem to be filled with despair, when darkness surrounds our souls, to be assured, that God is still at work. There is hope, even when we cannot perceive it. Just like God was in the days leading up to that glorious first Easter Sunday, God is working through our darkest moments. To give us hope of resurrection and new life to come.