The World Turned Upside Down
Matthew 28:1-10 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow.4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
The world was turned upside down that first Easter morning.
Jesus was alive! What?! The two Marys had seen him die. You don't survive having a spear thrust into your lungs and pericardial sac. And they had helped prepare his body for burial. They'd have noticed if he was managing to breathe under those sixty pounds of burial spices.
The angel spoke to them - women. Ancient Palestine was a patriarchal culture. Very patriarchal. Why would a heavenly being deign to speak to women? Perhaps because Jesus had included them as his friends during his years of ministry. Jesus loved them.
And then Jesus showed up and spoke to them. He told the two Marys not to be afraid. Again, speaking to women. Bizarre.
They were directed to go tell the disciples about Jesus' resurrection. Women were told to preach! Mary Magdalene was the first preacher! Yes, really! In a world where women were second class citizens at best, Jesus had elevated her to first class status.
The world had turned upside down. Jesus was alive. And nothing would never be the same.