Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. (John 20:1 NIV)
A careful reading of the resurrection account reveals why women, in particular Mary Magdalene, were the first to discover the empty tomb and encounter the risen Christ. In John’s Gospel, we’re told that “while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb” (John 20:1). This woman, along with other courageous women, rose up early to go to the tomb while the male disciples were hiding behind closed doors (v.19). In fact, after Peter and John, the only male disciples, checked the tomb and left, she was the only one who stayed there (v.11). It was then that she had the vision of the two angels and Jesus eventually appeared to her, commissioning her to go and tell the others (vv.11-18). It was her determination and perseverance that led to her testimony. “Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her” (v.18).
The women who rise with the Son are the ones who are not afraid to risk their lives and reputations for His sake. They’re the ones who continue to seek Him in the midst of the darkness and uncertainty of life. It is they who get to encounter Him, experience the power of His resurrection and share the good news with the world.