Summary: The resurrection of Jesus in Luke 24:1-12 shows us what happened to the women at the empty tomb of Jesus.

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The Gospel of Luke is one of four accounts of the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth in the New Testament. Like the other Gospels, Luke gives almost one third of his Gospel to the final week of Jesus’ life.

Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday (19:28-40). The crowds began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen in the life and ministry of Jesus (19:37). During his final week in Jerusalem, all the chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people were seeking to destroy Jesus, but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were hanging on his words (19:47-48). Nevertheless, at some point during the week, one of Jesus’ apostles, Judas Iscariot, agreed to betray Jesus to the religious authorities (22:3-6).

On Thursday evening Jesus ate the final, divinely-sanctioned Passover meal with his twelve apostles in a furnished Upper Room, somewhere in Jerusalem (22:7-13). During that meal, Jesus instituted what we now call the Lord’s Supper (22:14-20).

After their meal together, Jesus and disciples went out to the Mount of Olives, where they planned to spend the night (22:39). While in the Garden of Gethsemane, there came a crowd of the religious authorities, along with Judas, who betrayed Jesus to them with a kiss (22:47-48).

Jesus was arrested, and throughout the night and into daybreak Jesus underwent an ecclesiastical trial before the Jewish Sanhedrin (22:66-71), and a civil trial before the Roman governor Pontius Pilate (23:1-5). The charge against Jesus was blasphemy, because he called himself the Son of God (22:70). Of course, it would be blasphemy if it were not true, but Jesus was the Son of God. Nevertheless, although Pilate found in Jesus no guilt deserving death (23:22), he eventually delivered Jesus over to be crucified (John 19:16). Jesus was crucified on Friday morning, and was dead by mid-afternoon (23:26-49).

One of the religious leaders, Joseph of Arimathea, who had not consented to the Sanhedrin’s decision and action to have Jesus crucified, buried Jesus in his own tomb before sundown on that Friday afternoon (23:50-53). With the Sabbath about to begin at sundown, the women who had come with Jesus from Galilee saw the tomb of Jesus and how his body was laid in it. The women, Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women, returned back to their lodging to prepare spices and ointments in order to complete the burial process on Sunday morning, the day after the Sabbath. On the Sabbath (that is, Saturday) they rested according to the commandment (23:54-56). Jesus, their beloved Master, was dead. They were filled with grief and sadness. However, what they discovered on Sunday morning was not at all what they expected.

Let’s read about the resurrection of Jesus in Luke 24:1-12:

1 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. 5 And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” 8 And they remembered his words, 9 and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, 11 but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. 12 But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened. (Luke 24:1-12)


October 12, 1990, started like any other workday for Winston Bright. The 41-year-old got ready for his job as a switchman at New York Telephone, said goodbye to his wife and their three kids, and left for the office. During his lunch break, he called his wife, Leslie, and told her he would head home around 5:30 p.m. That brief chat was the last time his family heard from him.

Winston Bright never returned to his apartment and he became the subject of a missing person investigation. For more than a year, family members and New York Police Department detectives searched for him, but the manhunt came up empty.

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