After Jesus’ crucifixion the women came to the tomb carrying their embalming fluids and ointments. Mark 16:1-2 tells us “When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him.  And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb.” Two things strike me in this verse. First, they waited until the Sabbath was past. According to their religion they could not do what they wanted to do on the Sabbath. It was a day filled with rules and regulations that Jesus often refuted. Secondly, the need to anoint a dead body was a religious rite laid out similarly in the Jewish religious ritual.

In spite of all that Jesus said, the two Mary’s continued to direct their life according to religious rituals. But when they got to the tomb they found the stone had been rolled away and an angel appeared and asked them a very profound question. It’s recorded for us in Luke 24:5: “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” Jesus is not to be found amidst dead religious rituals. He can only be experienced through a living relationship. He doesn’t want us to look for Him in ancient cemeteries but to experience Him every day of our lives. That’s what the resurrection was all about.

Wolfgang Pannenberg said, “The evidence for Jesus’ resurrection is so strong that nobody would question it except for two things: First, it is a very unusual event. And second, if you believe it happened, you have to change the way you live.”


“How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” Heb 9:14