Today the Church commemorates Joanna, Mary, and Salome, Myrrhbearers. On Easter morning, these three women went to Jesus’ tomb with spices to adorn and preserve His body. Our devotion comes from Meditations on the Gospels: According to His Word.
Can you think of anything more sad than these women going out in the gray dawn of Sunday morning to finish the task they had begun so hastily on Friday afternoon when the Sabbath was beginning and the grave had to be closed?
Saturday evening, after the end of the Sabbath, they prepared their ointments, and at daybreak, they went to the tomb to perform their work of love. But all their ointments were not needed; the grave was empty!
As soon as she saw the open tomb, Mary Magdalene ran back to tell the apostles, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him!” (John 20:2). The Lord had made provision that they should immediately have the truth.
Two angels gave them the Easter message: “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.” They add a little rebuke that they should pass on to the other apostles: You should have known! He told you He would rise! …
That is the heart of the Easter Gospel. And the soul that truly holds this message cannot but be filled with Easter faith and joy because it means to us not only that Christ escaped death and the grave, but that His resurrection is the escape from death for us as well.
Even when all the things we see around us are gone, we will still have the Easter Gospel. “Because I live, you also will live” (John 14:19). And we, too, will rise on the third day: the first day is our day of preparation, when we suffer and die with Christ; the second is the Sabbath, when we rest in the grave; and the third day is when we rise again to eternal life.
Devotion is adapted from Meditations on the Gospels: According to His Word, pages 659–61, © 2009 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.
Mighty God, Your crucified and buried Son did not remain in the tomb for long. Give us joy in the tasks set before us, that we might carry out faithful acts of service as did Joanna, Mary, and Salome, offering to You the sweet perfume of our grateful hearts, so that we, too, may see the glory of Your resurrection and proclaim the Good News with unrestrained eagerness and fervor worked in us through our Lord Jesus Christ, who rose and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (1071)
Prayer is from the Treasury of Daily Prayer, page 588, © 2008 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.