As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.
“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.
When these brave women arrived at the tomb, they had a choice. They could just stay outside and guess what was going on. Or they could go in for themselves. They did the brave thing and went in.
And when they went in, they could never have guessed what they were going to see. Not a corpse hastily wrapped in linen. But an angel wrapped in a robe. They were expecting a dead body that had been slathered in mixture of myrrh and aloes. Who knows what happens to a body after three days.
In spite of these and other fears, they went into the tomb for an important purpose. They wanted to honor Jesus by putting additional spices on his body. But instead of seeing the corpse, they saw something entirely different. Instead, they see a young man dressed in a white, clean robe. A long, flowing robe that was only worn by the elite. The privileged. The wealthy.
So, what was this young and influential looking guy doing inside a tomb? Someone like that never goes inside a tomb! They’d pay for someone else to do it. They’d order a slave do their dirty work.
That’s why they were greatly astonished. They were awe-struck, out of their minds as all these sights and thoughts ran through their minds at a thousand miles an hour. They were alarmed.
And God’s message to them is don’t be alarmed. They were amazed. And God’s message to them is don’t be amazed. They were frightened, and God’s message is don’t be afraid.
And if we’re honest we want to say, “Are you crazy? Don’t be alarmed? Don’t be amazed? Jesus is dead. We saw him die. We saw his lifeless corpse pulled down from the cross. We saw how his arms and legs flopped around when Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus covered him with spices.
They had to do all the lifting and work to tie him up. To wrapped him up in a large, linen sheet. We’ve seen dead. We know dead. He was dead. And now God, your message to us is to take this in stride?”
How could God tell them, tell us, to calm down? I’ll tell you how – because this wasn’t new news. Jesus had publicly and repeatedly talked about how he was going to die and then be raised from the dead. Here’s a short list to check out.
Matthew: 16:21-23, 17:22,23, 20:17-19
Mark: 8:31,32, 9:30-32, 10:32-34
Luke: 9:21,22, 9:43-45, 18:31-34
John: 12:7,8, 13:33, 14:25
You see, there was plenty of times that Jesus spoke openly and plainly about what was coming. It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t nice and neat. But it was real. And why did Jesus go to all the trouble of repeating himself about his death and resurrection?
I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe.
Jesus is focused on our coming to the point of believing. The Jesus kind of believing is not some kind of wishy-washy hope so. It’s not wishing on a star. Throwing coins into a fountain. Blowing out birthday candles. The Jesus kind of believing lets you put the full weight of your life on him.
Believing on Jesus changes everything. He takes the pressure and weight. And in return, he gives comfort and peace. His shoulders are broad. His arms are strong. He can handle it all. He can handle anything.
But like these faithful women, we have a responsibility. We have a duty. We have a part to play.
They entered the tomb and saw. We also must enter and see. We must enter into a relationship with Jesus and see for ourselves. We must come to the resurrected Jesus, just as we are. Giving ourselves to him. We must see for ourselves that his arms are open wide. Pulling us close.
No one else could do it for the women. And no one else can do it for you. That’s why they call it a personal relationship with God. It’s deeply personal. You get all of God, but you have to give all of yourself.
It’s time to go in and see for yourself.
 John 19:39