By Dr. Lawrence Butler, The Bridge Church, Pembroke
There are several differences recorded in the scriptures about the events that occurred following the resurrection of Christ.
I may never be able to completely resolve these issues in your minds, but I do have some thoughts that might be beneficial.
Let us prayerfully consider these points and trust the Spirit for guidance.
Who Went To The Tomb? All four gospel writers identify Mary Magdalene as one who went to the tomb. However, Matthew says with her was “the other Mary” (Matt. 28:1). She was distinguished from the mother of Jesus by Mark, who identified her as the mother of James and Joses (Mark 15:47, 16:1). Mark also states that Salome was with them. Luke provides even more information by pointing out that “certain others” were at the grave (Luke 24:1,10). Listed among this group is Joanna, identified as the wife of Chusa who was Herod’s steward (Luke 8:3). Providing even more information Luke tells us that “other women” were with them. Each of the writers gives some information that is correct, but not necessarily all the persons who were there. Luke lists the most, but seems to leave the total number unresolved. Why Does John Mention Only Mary Magdalene?
John was not attempting to tell the specific story of who went to the tomb, but of who revealed to him and the other disciples first the message of the resurrection. The women heard the message from the angels and carried it to the disciples. Peter and John ran to the tomb, found it empty except for the grave clothes, and left wondering and believing (Luke 24:12, John 20:8).
However, Mary Magdalene remained behind, weeping and wondering, until she met someone whom she thought was the gardener.
Of course, it was Christ.
Why didn’t she recognize Him? Jesus now had a glorified body that would no longer taste of death.
The life that was always inside Him had now come to the surface. His God-Life was now His presence. Just as He was changed on the Mount of Transfiguration, so now He is forever changed. He was no longer bloody, bruised and battered. He was now victorious and glorified.
He had said the sheep “know his voice” (John 10:4), and when Mary heard His voice, He could be no other. It was Christ, and Mary saw Him first!