“Glorious Morning At The Tomb”

The gospels agree that Jesus was raised bodily from the dead on Sunday, the first day of the week. They also agree that Mary Magdalene was the first witness of the empty tomb, and most probably of the resurrected Lord. This is an important piece of historical evidence, since the testimony of a woman was of no legal value in ancient Jewish society. Had some early church writers invented a story of the resurrection, they would not of emphasized Mary’s witness in the narrative. Like the crucifixion accounts, the resurrection accounts diverge in a number of particulars. Only Matthew reports an earthquake and the rolling way of the stone from the tomb. {And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. Matthew 28:2} Since Matthew also reported an earthquake at the crucifixion { Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; Matthew 27:50-51} the second earthquake may show the equal significance of the resurrection. Matthew and Mark speak of one angel at the tomb { And the angel answered and said unto the women, 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,

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see the place where the Lord lay. Matthew 28:5-6} {And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.  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 16:4-6} whereas Luke and John speak of two {And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: Luke 24:4} and { And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. John 20:12} Matthew and Mark report only the women visiting the empty tomb, while like: Luke and John tell of a visit by Peter {Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass. Luke 24:12} with John relating a footrace between Peter and the beloved disciple to the tomb {Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. John 20:3-8}.

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