The four gospel accounts all seem to contradict each other on what happened on resurrection morning. However, what if the scriptural accounts are not complete and just parts of the whole story? I have tried to fit all of the accounts together so that nothing contradicts anything else in the story that follows.
Jesus had been dead in the tomb for three days and three nights. Early on the first day of the week a group of women were making their way to the tomb to anoint his dead body. Among them was Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, Salome, and Joanna.
It was still dark!
The sun was just below the horizon. All of a sudden, an angel descended from heaven and rolled the stone away from the entrance to the tomb, His appearance was like lightning and as the light from his body shone into the tomb, the guards saw that the tomb was empty. The angel sat on the stone and looked at the guards. They were terrified and fled from the scene.
The group of women arrived at the tomb. There was nobody there. They were surprised that the stone had been rolled away. Cautiously, they looked into the tomb and saw that it was empty. They were upset at the idea that anyone would steal the body of Jesus. Mary Magdalene said that she would run and get Peter. He would know what to do. She ran to the house where Peter was staying. John was with Peter. They both ran with Mary Magdalene back to the tomb. They entered the tomb and saw that it was empty except for the linen cloths that the body had been wrapped in. They decided that there was nothing they could do at that moment, but that they would bring the eleven apostles together to consider what should be done, so they left and went to their homes.
The group of women were still there at the tomb. They entered the tomb, but Mary Magdalene stood outside the tomb looking in. She was too upset to enter, and she wept. Suddenly two angels appeared, one sitting at the head and one sitting at the feet of where the body of Jesus had lain. The angels stood up, out of respect for the women. One of them looked toward Mary Magdalene. He asked her why she was weeping. She replied that it was because someone had stolen her Lord and she did not know where they had taken him. Then she became aware of a man standing off to the side. She thought he must be the gardener and asked him if he had taken the body. When he said her name, she knew that it was Jesus. He told her not to touch him because he had not yet ascended to his Father.
Then he vanished.
The other women did not see him because they were in the tomb. They had bowed their faces to the earth because they were terrified. The angels told them not to be afraid and asked them why they were looking for the living among the dead. They told the women that the Lord had risen from the dead and reminded them of the words of Jesus when he had prophesied about his crucifixion and resurrection. Then the angels told the women that they must go and tell the Lord’s disciples that He had risen from the dead and that they would see him in Galilee. The angels vanished and the women left the tomb in great fear.
As the women went on their way they were still in great fear. Then the Lord himself met them, and told them to rejoice. They bowed before him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. He told them that they must tell the disciples that he would meet them in Galilee. Then he vanished. They were still in great fear and did not tell anyone what they had seen. Later, they regained their courage. First Mary Magdalene went and told the eleven what she had seen and then the other women came and told the eleven and other disciples what they had seen, but were not believed. Peter returned to the tomb but found it as before. As resurrection morning ended he did not know what to believe.
I hope you have enjoyed this little story. Perhaps you can put the puzzle together in a different way so that the story agrees with every gospel account.