“And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.” Mark 16:6
We have a tendency to think of Mary and her companions walking mournfully through a beautiful garden to meet the angel. But I think it was much bleaker than that.
The morning had finally arrived. The small party of four people walked along the dusty road carrying the supplies needed to care for the body which was in the borrowed tomb. It had to be the worst weekend in history. They had lost a son, brother, teacher and friend to an angry mob. The murder was brutal and carried out in full view of the public. The landscape they passed through had suffered earthquakes and unnatural darkness. The main temple was in ruins. The vail that protects the holiest of holies was utterly destroyed and the sacred place violated. If you have lived through a natural disaster then you have an idea of the shock and fear. There’s such a sense of instability that it’s overwhelming. This was so much worse. They would have passed by families who were beginning the clean up process. Families would have been huddled around those who needed comfort. The men would be trying to rebuild while on the lookout for looters. The Roman soldiers would be trying to keep order while offering assistance.
As they arrived at the tomb and saw the stone removed it would have at first seemed like the earthquake had shaken it loose. The next thought would have been of Vandals. But then the angel spoke and hope returns to the world like the morning sunshine. The dark clouds are burned away and light washes through the land.