Jesus is crucified, his body taken away.
The religious rulers are satisfied. They’ve won. They handled this challenge to their authority by hinting to the Romans that they could have an insurrection on their hands if they didn’t take care of this peasant leader. Their plan worked well. The Romans handled the situation with their usual efficiency.
The Romans are satisfied, too, with the possible exception of their man, Pilate, who expressed misgivings. He want along, however, understanding that it was in his interest not to upset the ones on whom his job depends, so no problem.
The disciples, all men, have fled, taking refuge in an out-of-the-way bolt hole.
Only a few women stay with Jesus, and they follow to see where his body is taken. They spend the next day, the day of rest, preparing for his burial. He must be taken care of, even if all they can do is carry out a proper burial. They’re only women, and no one pays them much attention.
So they come to the tomb on Sunday morning. They don’t know how they will be able to roll away the heavy stone from the tomb entrance, but they come anyway.
They find the tomb empty. They are the first to know and the first to tell. What no one else did, they did. They came. They showed up.
Ann Gaylia O'Barr, author of Singing in Babylon, Searching for Home, Quiet Deception, Distant Thunder, and A Sense of Mission (all OakTara), was a Foreign Service Officer in the United States Department of State from 1990 to 2004. Assignments included tours in U.S. embassies and consulates in Saudi Arabia (Jeddah and Dhahran), Algeria, Canada, Tunisia, and Washington, D.C. (Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration and Bureau of Intelligence and Research)