"They returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment." Luke 23:56.
The Saviour was buried on Friday, the sixth day of the week. The women prepared spices and ointments with which to embalm their Lord, and laid them aside, until the Sabbath was past. Not even the work of embalming the body of Jesus would they do upon the Sabbath day.
"And when the Sabbath was past, . . . very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun." Mark 16:1,2.
As they neared the garden, they were surprised to see the heavens beautifully lighted up, and to feel the earth trembling beneath their feet. They hastened to the tomb, and were still more astonished to find that the stone was rolled away, and that the Roman guard was not there.
Mary Magdalene had been the first to reach the place. Seeing that the stone was removed, she hurried away to tell the disciples. When the other women came up, they noticed a light shining about the tomb, and looking in, saw that it was empty.
As they lingered about the place, they suddenly beheld a young man in shining garments sitting by the tomb. It was the angel who had rolled away the stone. In fear they turned to flee, but the angel said:
"Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
"And go quickly, and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead; and, behold, He goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see Him." Matthew 28:5-7.
As the women looked again into the tomb, they saw another shining angel, who inquired of them:
"Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how He spake unto you when He was yet in Galilee, saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again." Luke 24:5-7.
The angels then explained the death and resurrection of Christ. They reminded the women of the words that Christ Himself had spoken, in which He had told beforehand of His crucifixion and His resurrection. These words of Jesus were now plain to them,and with fresh hope and courage they hastened away to tell the glad news.
Mary had been absent during this scene, but now returned with Peter and John. When they went back to Jerusalem, she stayed at the tomb. She could not bear to leave
until she should learn what had become of the body of her Lord. As she stood weeping, she heard a voice which asked:
"Woman, why weepest thou? Whom seekest thou?"
Her eyes were so blinded by tears that she did not notice who it was that spoke to her. She thought it might be the gardener and said to him pleadingly:
"Sir, if thou have borne Him hence, tell me where thou hast laid Him, and I will take Him away."
She thought that if this rich man's tomb was considered too honourable a place for her Lord, she herself would provide a place for Him. But now the voice of Christ Himself fell upon her ears. He said:
Her tears were quickly brushed away, and she beheld the Saviour. Forgetting, in her joy, that He had been crucified, she stretched forth her hands to Him, saying:
Jesus then said,"Touch Me not; for I am not yet ascended to My Father: but go to My brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto My Father, and your Father; and to My God, and your God." John 20:15-17.
Jesus refused to receive the homage of His people until He should know that His sacrifice had been accepted by the Father. He ascended to the heavenly courts, and from God Himself heard the assurance that His atonement for the sins of men had been ample, and through His blood all might gain eternal life.
All power in Heaven and on earth was given to the Prince of Life, and He returned to His followers in a world of sin, that He might impart to them His power and glory.