And the two Marys witnessed the raised Jesus and carried the message to to men.
If the story had ended at the cross, it wouldn’t have been the gospel, the good news. If the story had ended at the cross, the cross would be seen as a symbol of defeat instead of the turning point of human history. If the story had ended at the cross, we would have never heard that story.
It didn’t end with the cross. It didn’t end in a grave. Jesus was raised from the dead.
The angel tells the women to verify the empty tomb and then to tell the disciples to meet Jesus in Galilee.
On the way, experiencing both fear and great joy, they meet Jesus. Jesus is alive. They worship him in a way that reminds us of the anointing of Jesus for burial.
Jesus also tells them to deliver the message to the disciples, but he calls them “my brothers”. Can you imagine how sweet that would have sounded to the ten who abandoned him and the one who had denied him? Resurrection is the start of restoration.
Meanwhile, the guards, who fainted at the earthquake and the opening of the tomb and the angel, tell the truth to the priests. They call another council and hatch another plot. They pay the guards to lie about what happened. Even an angel cannot get these leaders to see the truth.
Jesus is alive. Hope is alive. The disciples are restored. The story is not over.