One of the earliest stories that went around about the missing body of Jesus after his death and entombment involved grave robbers. Jewish authorities went to the Roman Governor and asked for an armed guard to secure the body in the tomb from possible theft by the followers of Jesus. Those trained soldiers were to do their duty and to stand their ground to the last man.

While it was still dark on that first Easter morning, Mary Magdalene, went to the tomb.  She and other women had a job to do. Only half of the burial spices traditionally used had been wrapped in the linen wraps around Jesus’ body. The women were there to finish the job.    

Mary found that the tomb was open and the body was missing. She went to report this to Peter and John. They went to the tomb and did not find the body, only a folded face cloth and linen wraps in the tomb. These men did not help at all.  What was she, and the other women, going to do? 

The account says that at that point she was wailing in grief. Not only was she grieving for the death of Jesus, but now she was grieving the loss of his body as well. She was totally powerless. We might say in today’s terms, “She lost it.” Did the followers of Jesus take the body? The answer is no: not if their leader who had been in hiding could not figure out the missing body, not if the women closest to Jesus were left wondering where his body was, and not if there were no dead Roman soldiers nor signs of a battle at the tomb. The body was not taken by the followers, so who opened the tomb?

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