A Theological/Bible Related Commentary
Picture the scene: Mary Magdalene has just arrived at the tomb of Jesus on “the first day of the week”―but while it is still dark (John 20:1).
Mary is stunned to find the entrance tomb stone rolled back and the tomb itself empty. She is further stunned to find that not a single angel (or two) is to be found either inside or outside the tomb as reported in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke!
But what Mary is really taken aback by is the fact that there is no Roman guard lying dazed on the ground as reported by the gospel author “Matthew.” How could that be, she wonders? The gospels are supposed to be error-free! (All said, admittedly, utilizing a wee bit of “artistic license” in this instance―Greywolf.)
So what to do? Why, Mary decides to return to Jerusalem and tell the apostle Peter and Jesus’ most beloved disciple that the tomb is empty, that there is no Roman guard posted, and that she has no idea where Jesus’ body is. Both apostles then race to the tomb, with Mary in tow, and discover she was telling the truth. The beloved disciple then actually comes to “believe” (verse 18), but exactly what is unclear. Meanwhile, time moves on. Peter and the beloved disciple return to Jerusalem. Mary Magdalene, however, chooses to remain; perhaps to ascertain what happened to Jesus’ body.
As she peers into the empty tomb crying, she is startled to find not one but two angels occupying the space above and below where Jesus’ body had once lain (and not the single angel sitting atop the entrance stone as reported in Matthew’s gospel). They both ask Mary why she is crying. She replies that someone must have moved Jesus’ body but she has no idea as to where. (And all said without the slightest trace of the shock, fear, and trembling that she is to later display upon encountering “angels” in the gospels of Mark and Luke.)
Suddenly, Mary is made aware that a figure is standing behind her. She turns toward the figure who too asks Mary why she is crying, but then questions who is it she is looking for. She mistakes the figure for a tomb area gardener who has undergone crucifixion (She must have, for Jesus arose bodily, and not in “spirit” form, according to Church doctrine.) But once the figure says the name “Mary,” she realizes that the individual is not a previously crucified area tomb gardener after all, but dead Jesus brought back to life―and now in full-deity mode! (He must have been, for “Doubting Thomas” actually calls Jesus “God” after seeing him in this precise state later in John 20:28.)
As a joyful Mary starts to embrace Jesus God, he admonishes her not to because he has not yet ascended to God the Father, who, incidentally, is not only Mary’s God, but his God as well (verse 17). Never mind that Jesus is also God―according to the countless Christians who believe in the so-called “Trinity” (but see my “Jesus God versus God the Father.”) And never mind that Jesus God, in a turn-around, does later decide to get touchy-feely with Mary Magdalene, as well as “the other Mary” (in Matt. 28:9), and “Doubting Thomas” (in John 20:27), all before his ascension!
Mary then returns to Jerusalem and reveals to Jesus’ disciples all that had transpired at the tomb.
Now where in blazes do you suppose that Roman guard disappeared to? They’re said to have been on station the entire night―if we are to believe Matthew 28:13, that is.
End Of Part I
Next Time in Part II: The Roman guard finally surfaces! (Part II here)