The women went to the tomb where they had seen Joseph and Nicodemus and John place the body of Jesus. They went there to anoint the body with the burial spices and perfumes they had purchased and prepared.
Joseph had purchased the linens to wrap Jesus' body and Nicodemus had brought 75 pounds of spices to wrap in the linens. But they were only men and they wouldn't have prepared his body like the women would have.
There just wasn't time to do everything properly after they took Jesus' body down from the cross. The Sabbath was only a few hours away and it took time to do everything the way it should be done. So, they let the men do their thing and they planned on coming back on Sunday.
But when they arrived there they noticed that the stone had been rolled back; a stone that was so heavy and constructed in such a way that it would take three strong men to roll it back and put a chock in place to hold it. That was very strange in itself but when they bent over to look inside the tomb all they saw was two angels sitting there as if they were waiting for them.
You've heard the scriptures read this morning. You know the story they told. But isn't it typical of men that they didn't believe them when they told them what they had found? Of course, one of them had to go there to verify that what they had told them was in fact true.
Only Peter didn't see anything, not even one angel. All he found was an empty tomb. He was a little perplexed. It was all very confusing.
Why didn't they remember? Jesus had told them what was going to happen. He had told them how the prophets predicted the coming of the Messiah and what would happen to him. But it was like their ears were plugged with wax. And they went brain dead.
As the two who talked with Jesus on the road to Emmaus were telling their story Jesus appeared right there with them in the Upper Room. They were scared, almost to death. They were certain he was a ghost.
He showed them his hands and his feet. And then he asked for something to eat. Some leftover fish was all they had and he ate it in front of them.
How do we know all this? How can we believe what we are hearing is true? We can believe because those who were there were witnesses to what happened, first hand witnesses.
Jesus took advantage of the opportunity to tell them again what he had told them before. He taught them one more time what was written about him in the Laws of Moses, and in the Prophets and the Psalms.
Because they experienced this all first hand and then had it all explained to them again it became crystal clear to them that Jesus was indeed the Messiah, the Son of God. He was resurrected. He was alive! He was the real deal.
We know this today because they were there and they took the Great Commission to heart. They went into all the world making disciples and baptizing all nations in the name of the Trinity.
God sent Jesus into the world because he loved the world. He didn't send him because he condemned them but because he loved them so much. But he didn't come just for the Jews but for the whole world, all the nations. He came so that we might have life eternal.
So now you're the witnesses. It's your turn to go out into your world and make disciples by telling your story, sharing with others how Jesus has changed you. You are here today because of God's love for the world and the sacrifice Jesus made by giving his life for the sins of the world.
Friends, you are witnesses to God's love, God's joy, God's peace. You are witnesses to God's kingdom here on earth.
Believe what your heart tells you is true. Believe what you read in the Word. Jesus came into the world and died for our sins and rose again as proof that God defeated death. He went to hell for us and came back. Believe it!
Friends, listen to God's voice. Be a witness today to God's love for the world.
Give your heart to him and share God's good news with those you meet on your journey.
Thanks be to God for his wondrous love. Amen.