The Empty Tomb
The Myrhh-bearing Women

The icon we present today depicts the MYRHH-BEARING WOMEN. They are approaching the tomb of our Resurrected Lord, not knowing what to expect. The scene adheres to the Gospel accounts. St. Mark says: “And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, brought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint Him. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came to the sepulcher at the rising of the sun.”

St. Matthew records that an “Angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone…and sat upon it.” This is exactly what we see on the icon. From St. John comes Peter’s account: he “saw the linen clothes lie, and the napkin that was about His head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.” This icon is able to reproduce in visual form what the Gospels tell in words. How refreshing it is to experience this good news of the Resurrection!

We also must remember that WOMEN played a considerable role in the story of Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection. They were under the Cross as Jesus died. They watched where He was buried. And they came to the tomb in the morning darkness, seeking to anoint His body. These were the Myrrh-Bearing Women of the Gospels whom the Church honors on this Sunday.

Women are among the first to learn of Christ’s victory over death. This is how our Lord rewarded their faith, love, dedication and ministry to Him.

The Orthodox Weekly Bulletin - Cliffwood, NJ

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