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by Dottie McElreath
 
As Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Salome and Mary, the mother of James made their preparations
to go to Jesus' tomb they spoke in subdued voices It had been the most horrible week of
these gentle souls’ whole lives. All the way up until Jesus died on the cross they had hoped for
the miracle of the angels coming to rescue Him or for Him to suddenly appear down from the
cross as suddenly as he had disappeared and reappeared before.

He had died, He had died, He had died and the words kept reverberating in their ears as they
heard it said over and over from each other and out of their own mouths, He is dead, but He
can't die, He is dead, but He can't die. Not the master, the savior, the one who brought Lazarus
back to life, and Jarius' daughter, she's alive thanks to Him, He can't be dead, but He is, but He
can't be, and yet He is!

Hearts so heavy that each heartbeat was a thunk in the bottom of a well. How can we be
alive, and the Master be dead? How can this be? Oh, I wish I had never been born then to have
to endure this agony of life and the One I loved more than life itself is gone and I'm still here.
Oh, my soul cries and pleads for answers. How can this be? He's dead, oh, nightmare this must
be, oh please let me wake up and this be just a bad dream. God let the Master hold my hand and
call me a little child to be scared in the night because I am so much afraid. Why I cry, how I
cry! Please let this anguish be over!

Jesus saw the terror, the sorrow and tears filled his eyes at the love of these gentle
women for Him. He tried to tell them but they just didn’t understand.

The disciples were lost, and paralyzed with fear. He was gone and now they'll be next
and what could they say. He was truth and yet how could they prove it? He was dead, wasn't
He?

As the ladies gathered their supplies to take to the tomb they moved in total silence. As
they made their way it was still dark in the surrounding countryside. They wanted to get the job
finished and hurry back to comfort the disciples. Each lady knew the disciples would have
come with them if they had asked. But to ask them would be to put them also up for crucifixion
and they had seen enough to last a lifetime of cruelty and bloodlust on the people of the area.

They wished they had never seen this town and they knew they would never forget the
cries of, "Kill him, crucify him, death to the King of the Jews!" Oh those horrible words that
came from the priests and the Romans.

Mary drew her veil closer about her as the soldiers grew near. It was a chilly morning so
they did not even pay attention to the ladies as they went about their duties. They were looking
for the disciples and everyone knew the good ladies that were their followers were simply misguided.

As the ladies drew close to the tomb in the semi-darkness they felt a difference about the
place. There were guards placed there but they saw and heard no one. There were no people on
the trail and it seemed as if they were the only people in the tombs and there should be others
coming to take care of their loved ones also because the anointing that they were doing today
was the custom to do for their loved ones. There were always people in the tombs taking care of
these duties.

As they climbed up the hill they saw the sunshine light the face of the rock. It illuminated
the tomb and it was open. There was a man clothed in white standing beside the entrance
to the tomb. As one body the ladies ran, sobbing sorrowfully because they knew someone had
taken His body. They were halted by the man that told them that He was risen from the dead
and was going before them to Galilee. In awe and wonder as they perceived the glowing robes
they hurried home to tell the others and were halted by a man that suddenly appeared in front of
them from nowhere. He asked them who did they seek and not knowing Him they told Him Jesus
of Nazareth. He smiled at them and said, "Oft I have been with you and yet you know Me
not?"


Joy warred with disbelief and Jesus smiled as their features gave way to smiles and the
tears rained down. The tears of sorrow turned to tears of joy. Jesus' triumph was not in the dying,
it was in the living and He was back. The ladies hastened to wake the rest and lay their burdens
down at the feet of the Master.

He was alive forevermore and death was defeated.
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