3.— The Holy Women on Their Way to the Sepulchre.

The Holy Women on Their Way to the Sepulchre.

Read St.  Mark xvi.  1-4.

[1] And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalen, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought sweet spices, that coming, they might anoint Jesus. [2] And very early in the morning, the first day of the week, they come to the sepulchre, the sun being now risen. [3] And they said one to another: Who shall roll us back the stone from the door of the sepulchre? [4] And looking, they saw the stone rolled back. For it was very great.

1.  All through the Sabbath day the holy women had been anxiously looking forward to the mournful pleasure of carrying to the sepulcher sweet spices and perfumes that they had prepared to embalm the Body of Jesus; and very early in the morning of the first day of the week they started on their pious errand.  But, strange to say, it had never occurred to them that a huge stone closed the door of the tomb, sealed with an official seal and guarded by a picket of soldiers.  This is one of the truest marks of love, it seems to forget all difficulties, to overleap all obstacles; it has a wonderful confidence that it will attain its object.  Is this the character of my love to Christ?  Am I confident that I shall overcome all those hindrances which now seem to bar my way to holiness?

2.  On the road to the sepulchre, as the difficulty became close at hand, they were stricken with fear — “who shall roll us back the stone?” Yet on they went, nothing daunted, trusting God with implicit confidence, relying on His power to take away what seemed to be an insuperable obstacle.  So, when dangers and difficulties threaten me, do I go straight on, trusting in the goodness of my God?

3.  Their holy confidence was not disappointed: holy confidence never is disappointed.  The more we trust God, the more marvels He will work for us.  An angel had been sent to reward them for their persevering devotion by doing, with angelic hands, what was altogether beyond their power to perform.  So now God will send an angel, if needful, to fulfill the desires of those who trust in Him.

Challoner note to verse [2] The sun being now risen: They set out before it was light, to go to the sepulchre; but the sun was risen when they arrived there. Or, figuratively, the sun here spoken of is the sun of justice, Christ Jesus our Lord, who was risen before their coming.


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