The accounts of Jesus' resurrection are found in Matthew 28:1-10; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-12 and John 20:1-18. Of course, there are differences between them, and I am not going to go into those differences here. What I want to focus on is who first realized and told others that Jesus had been raised from the dead.
- In Matthew: Mary Magdalene, Mary
- In Mark: Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, Salome
- In Luke: Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, Joanna, other women
- In John: Mary Magdalene
Women are the first to see that Jesus was resurrected and to spread the news of it (thought in Mark's account, they say nothing). This is not new information; it's been there since the four gospel accounts were passed along and written down.
And in Luke's account, the men thought they didn't know what they were talking about!
"Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles. But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them." (Luke 24:10-11, NRSV, emphasis mine).
The news of Jesus' resurrection is of the utmost importance in Christianity, for as Paul says in his first letter to the Corinthians, "and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain." (1 Corinthians 15:14, NRSV).
Women were the first to proclaim the gospel of the resurrection of Jesus the Messiah to the men. Who says women can't preach?
Today, I am thankful for a Messiah who breaks down barriers between all people and a great God who calls all people to Himself, who is creating one humanity through His kingdom and the work and power of His Holy Spirit.