Via Dolorosa – Faithful

There is not a future Apostle anywhere to be found at the tomb. They have been scattered. Just as Jesus is hidden in the tomb, they have retreated into the shadow of the hinterlands surrounding Jerusalem. However, the vigilance and courage of Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of both James and Joseph (or, Joses), is on full display. This latter Mary would continue to be a central figure in the nascent church as it began to find its footing. Her house would host the fellowship in the early years.

As they sat quietly at the edge of the peaceful cemetery, they watched as Nicodemus and Joseph finished up their work. They were accustomed to preparing bodies for burial. It was simply a part of the culture of that day. Everyone, especially the ladies, were amateur morticians. But in this case, the two religious leaders had taken the lead – leaving the ladies to sit and watch and with nothing to do but just that.

They were waiting for something to happen. They refused to believe that this was the end of the journey. They had heard Jesus speak very clearly and frequently about the number three. Three days. That was all. He would return to their love in a mere three days.

They were not the only ones who had heard Jesus prophecy a resurrection: Now on the next day, the day after the preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered together with Pilate, and said, “Sir, we remember that when He was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I am to rise again.’ Therefore, give orders for the grave to be made secure until the third day, otherwise His disciples may come and steal Him away and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last deception will be worse than the first.” Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go, make it as secure as you know how.” And they went and made the grave secure, and along with the guard they set a seal on the stone. ~Matthew 27:62-66

This extra bit of security played right into the hands of heaven. The Sanhedrin didn’t realize that history would use this as additional proof – secular proof – of what was about to happen. Everything was now in place and the two Marys sat and took it all in.