“But very early in the morning the women went to the tomb, taking spices
they had prepared. They found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. So they went in, but they didn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus. As they stood puzzled, two men suddenly appeared to them, clothed in dazzling robes. The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground. Then the men asked, ‘Why are looking among the dead for someone who is alive?
He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead!
– Luke 24:1-6
There is nothing more exciting in sports than a great comeback! Fans who watched the 2018 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship witnessed a gut-wrenching thriller. Both Notre Dame and Mississippi State survived the semifinals with overtime wins to advance to the title match. Mississippi State had suffered only one defeat on the season. Notre Dame had managed to survive four season-ending ACL injuries and played with only seven scholarship athletes. Everyone expected a battle and the teams delivered. Notre Dame found itself down 30-17 at the half and the deficit grew to fifteen in the early third quarter. The Irish fought back and with only three seconds left, the game was tied 58-58. Time stood still as Arike Ogunbowale took the inbound pass and drilled a desperation three-pointer giving Notre Dame a national championship that only minutes before seemed impossible.
We can only imagine what Mary Magdalene and Mary were thinking as they walked to visit Jesus’ tomb only three days following His death. I’m convinced they were not looking forward to the trip, but they came prepared for the task they had been given. As they trudged toward the tomb, with spices in hand, did they have thoughts about how they were going to move the stone at the entrance? If they did, the thought didn’t hold them back, they kept walking. Upon reaching their destination, were they shocked to see the stone rolled away? If they were, it didn’t cause them serious hesitation—they walked into the tomb. Upon seeing two men in dazzling robes, they were terrified, but rather than run they fell with their faces to the ground. What courage! What belief in a God who can do the unexpected! Upon hearing the news that Jesus wasn’t there, the excitement that came next must have been indescribable. I love what they did next. No cheering and wild celebration, they rushed from the tomb to tell others what they had experienced! What a comeback!
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Amen.