As it began to be dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and other women set out for the tomb where the body of Jesus had been laid. The women carried spices they had prepared to anoint the Lord’s body.

As they talked together, they wondered who would remove the great stone that had been rolled in front of the door to seal the tomb. But when the women arrived, they were surprised to see that the stone had already been rolled away.

When they entered the sepulchre, they were frightened by a young man clothed in white robes. He spoke to them, saying, “Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.

“He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

“And go quickly, and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead; and behold, He goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see Him.”

The women hurried out of the sepulchre, and Mary Magdalene ran to tell Peter and John. When she found them, Mary said, “They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid Him.”

Peter and John hurried to the sepulchre with Mary Magdalene. John reached there first, and looking in, he saw the tomb was empty.

Then he and Peter entered the tomb while Mary stood outside weeping. Inside, the two disciples found only the white linen clothing in which the body of the Lord had been wrapped. So they went away to their own homes.

After Peter and John had gone, Mary looked into the sepulchre. She saw two angels dressed in white sitting where the body of the Lord had lain.

The angels asked her, “Woman, why weepest thou?”

And Mary answered, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him.”

Then she turned herself back and saw someone standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.

Jesus said to her, “Woman, why weepest thou? Whom seekest thou?”

And Mary, supposing Him to be the gardener, replied, “Sir, if thou hast borne Him hence, tell me where thou hast laid Him, and I will take Him away.”

Then Jesus softly called her name, “Mary.”

Mary recognized His voice, and she turned again and cried with joy, “Rabboni,” which means “My beloved Master.”

Jesus said to her, “Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and unto my God, and your God.”

And Mary Magdalene, with a heart full of joy, went and told the disciples the wonderful news that she had seen the Lord and that He lived and had spoken unto her!

[illustrations] Illustrated by Virginia Sargent