Now Mary [Magdalene] stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”
“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”
Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (“Teacher”).
Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her. John 20:11-18
Jesus appeared first to women after he rose from the dead! Some have said that it was only because they were there doing the “women’s work” of preparing the body—if it was women’s work, then Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus were doing women’s work a couple of days earlier when they put spices on his body. (John 18:38-31) No, the women were there because their love for Jesus overcame their fear. And God will always honor that.
Jesus told Mary Magdalene and the women with her to “Go and tell my brothers..” but the men didn’t believe her. (Luke 24:9-11) A girl I know made that mistake once. Her mother sent her little sister to tell her to come home when she was playing at a neighbor’s house. The girl didn’t want to stop playing—who was this little sister to tell her what to do anyway-- so she sent her away. Of course, the younger girl went back to their mother who sent her again. Then the younger sister came back to the older sister saying, "You’d better come, she’s really mad.” She went. The mother told the older girl, “When I send her, I expect you to listen; it’s just as if it was me telling you. If you ignore her—you’re ignoring me.” We dare not ignore the Word of God brought by his messenger even if we don’t like the package! But to their credit, Peter and John raced to the tomb so they must have believed something! (Luke 24:12)
Perhaps it is no wonder that the women were first at the Cradle and last at the Cross.
Perhaps it is no wonder that the women were first at the Cradle and last at the Cross. They had never known a man like this Man--there never has been such another. A prophet and teacher who never nagged at them, never flattered or coaxed or patronised; who never made arch jokes about them, never treated them either as "The women, God help us!" or "The ladies, God bless them!"; who rebuked without querulousness and praised without condescension; who took their questions and arguments seriously; who never mapped out their sphere for them, never urged them to be feminine or jeered at them for being female; who had no axe to grind and no uneasy male dignity to defend; who took them as he found them and was completely unselfconscious. There is no act, no sermon, no parable in the whole Gospel that borrows its pungency from female perversity; nobody could possibly guess from the words and deed of Jesus that there was anything "funny" about woman's nature.