As far as they knew, the story was over. He had meant so much to them, but now He was gone. Religious and political leaders had turned against Him. He was too much a threat to them, so they had Him crucified. He would no longer be a problem.
Dead people never are.
So, all the women could do was go to the tomb to anoint the body. They wondered who would roll the heavy stone away from the entrance, but they bought the spices and made their way to the tomb anyway. Anointing Jesus would be the least they could do. Nothing they did that morning, though, suggested that they expected Jesus to be resurrected.
After all, dead people usually stay dead.
Something had happened at that tomb, however. A supernatural earthquake had rolled the stone away. The women entered the tomb, and there they found what they surely never expected. An angel. Who spoke to them. Who invited them to come and look where others had previously laid the body of Jesus.
Jesus, though, wasn’t there.
Of course he wasn’t — resurrected people don’t stay in the grave. If they did, they wouldn’t be resurrected. They’d still be dead. They’d have no hope. Their end would be the end. “Tomorrow” would be an unnecessary word. And, this life would make little sense.
That’s why the angel’s words to the women that day mean so much: “Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen” (Mark 16:6). They were just words, but they were words that changed the world. That happens when angels speak about the Son of God coming to life again after his enemies appeared to win.
You see, Jesus truly was alive. Sin’s power had been broken. The demons had lost. Death had been defeated. No, the story wasn’t over. It couldn’t be – after all, resurrection stories never end.
This weekend, anointing Jesus’ body is not enough. For certain, don’t stop outside the tomb. See the stone rolled away. Go into the tomb. See that He’s not there.
And then, rejoice. Loudly. Clearly. Passionately.
This story still has no end. It never will.