Posted Sunday, April 9, 783 AUC at 7:22 a.m. local time
JERUSALEM — The tomb which held the body of Jesus of Nazareth since Friday afternoon is now empty. Roman guards watching the tomb reported a great earthquake in that area sometime before dawn Sunday morning. An angel of the Lord descended from heaven and rolled away the giant stone door which sealed the tomb, then sat on it. The angel looked like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The watchers trembled in fear and collapsed as though dead.
Several women, followers of Jesus, left from nearby Bethany at dawn’s first light, having prepared spices to anoint the body of the deceased. There were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and others. They wondered who would be able to roll away the stone from the tomb’s door, but arriving around sunrise, they found it already rolled away, so some of them went inside the tomb and found the body of Jesus missing. Furthermore, an angel was waiting inside, to tell the perplexed women what had happened!
“Don’t be amazed,” the angel said. “You’re looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. Why look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he is risen, just like he said. Remember what he told you back in Galilee: the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.
“You can see where they laid him. But go and tell his disciples and Peter that he is headed for Galilee, and you will find him there.” Having heard all of this, the women fled from the tomb, trembling and astonished, to bring the news to His disciples.
Mary Magdalene didn’t go into the tomb, so she was first to tell the other disciples; she told Peter and John, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him!” Soon the other women arrived to tell the other disciples their story; the other disciples thought it was nonsense, and they didn’t believe them.
But Peter and John ran to the empty tomb and looked inside. They found the linen burial cloths lying there, but no body. The handkerchief that had covered his face was not lying with the linen cloths but was neatly rolled up in a place by itself. This made it clear that the missing body was not the work of some hasty grave robbers.