After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
Matthew 28: 1 – 4
.. and so we arrive at the beginning of the very last chapter of Matthew’s gospel! Our many months of reading and reflection have taken us all the way through Jesus’ birth, life, teachings, arrest, trial and crucifixion and now we arrive on the cusp of the revelation of his resurrection – the lynchpin of our faith.
Let’s pause for a moment at this point and think about the significance of these verses. They are, in effect, the very last verses of “before”… the time before anyone knew for certain that Jesus’ promise of resurrection had come true. In our next passage the two Marys will become witnesses to the resurrection and the whole story moves into “after”.
Nothing can ever be the same again. From this moment on, death does not have the last word.
Prayer: Heavenly Father. We thank you for this passage of Scripture. We thank you for the dedication and courage of the women who came to your tomb. We ask that, like them, we may come to know the risen Christ and to speak openly about what that means for each of us. Amen.
Action: Think about the “before” and “after” moments in your own faith journey.