It was not yet dawn. Their memories were still lingering on the sad incidents of the previous days. The whole yesterday was a sad Sabbath for them and for their people. Every passing hour had been an eon to them. On the vigil of Sabbath they had to leave everything and get ready for the religious obligation.
Although they had buried the body of their beloved Jesus, their hearts were still living with him walking through the streets of ungrateful Jerusalem. The womenfolk got ready with the spices to anoint the body of Jesus. Even before the sky changed into gray, they rushed to the garden tomb which belonged to somebody else.
The first three Investigation Reports of witnesses
1) Maria went to the tomb with her friends. “But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices which they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body.” (Luke 24:1-3)
2) John and Peter ran to the tomb after hearing the news from Mary of Magdalene. John ran fast and reached the tomb. But he did not enter.
3) Peter came afterwards. But they saw only the clothes of Jesus. “Peter then came out with the other disciple, and they went toward the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first; and stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; he saw the linen cloths lying.” (John 20:3-5)
Reactions of the three witnesses
Jesus had already told his disciples many times that he would resurrect on the third day. The Jews were aware of this and they set guards to protect the tomb and the body buried inside. Actually they were expecting resurrection, which his disciples were hesitating to accept. All these days they moving with him and actually living with him. They had seen his miraculous powers.
But Maria could not recognize Jesus even after seeing him. When she saw Jesus she thought that it was the gardener. She could not convince others that Jesus resurrected from death.
Peter searched for his Master’s body. But it was not there. John believed him. But Peter was still hesitating. “Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not know the scripture, that he must rise from the dead.” (John 20: 8-9)
The empty tomb tells a lot
The empty tomb of a buried person tells a lot to humanity. The seed that was buried sprouted and rose to yield abundant fruits. It was the song of victory that gave faith and courage to the early Christians.
Resurrection of Christ is the basis of Christian faith. St. Paul says, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” (1Corinthians 15:17) It is time to rejoice in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is time to greet the Christians saying: “Christ is risen!” It is time to sing Alleluia!