Easter Story in Matthew and John / Early on the first day of the week, it happened.
These texts are read in churches around the world on Easter Sunday.
They are the unique and original accounts of the resurrection as witnessed by
Christ's closest disciples.
on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to
the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb.
she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved,
and said to them, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not
know where they have laid him."
Then Peter and the other disciple
set out and went toward the tomb. The two were running together, but the other
disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and
saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in.
Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings
lying there,and the cloth that had been on Jesus' head, not lying with the linen
wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself.
Then the other disciple,
who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet
they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead.
Then the disciples returned to their homes. But Mary stood weeping outside the
tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels
in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and
the other at the feet.
They said to her, "Woman, why are you
weeping?" She said to them, "They have taken away my Lord, and I do
not know where they have laid him."
When she had said this, she
turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus.
Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?"
Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, "Sir, if you have carried
him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away."
Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to him in Hebrew, "Rabbouni!"
(which means Teacher).
Jesus said to her, "Do not hold on to
me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say
to them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'"
Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord";
and she told them that he had said these things to her.
After the sabbath, as the first day of the week
was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And suddenly
there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven,
came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning,
and his clothing white as snow. For fear of him the guards shook and became like
But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid;
I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he
has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly
and tell his disciples, 'He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going
ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.' This is my message for you."
So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.
Suddenly Jesus met them and said, "Greetings!" And they came to him,
took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not
be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.
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The Rev. Charles P. Henderson is a Presbyterian minister and
Executive Director of CrossCurrents.
He is the author of God and Science (John Knox Press, 1986).
A revised and expanded version of the book is appearing here. God and Science (Hypertext Edition,
He is also editor of a new book, featuring articles by world class scientists and theologians, and illustrating the leading views on the relationship between science and religion: Faith, Science and the Future (CrossCurrents Press, 2007).
Charles also tracks the boundry between the virtual and the real at his blog: Next World Design, focusing on the mediation of art, science and spirituality in the metaverse.