Death has a finality to it that is shocking.
Nothing can be done. Life is over. It is finished.
The body begins to degrade without the life that supported its existence. In a short period of time, it will return to the base elements of which it is comprised. In a word, dust.
Grief is unbearable. It is overwhelming. The sense of loss cannot be grasped fully by the human mind and heart. Tears flow unstoppable. Hearts are broken unimaginably. Relationship has ended with such a degree of separation it changes everything about life for the loved ones left behind.
For the disciples of Jesus Christ, all this and more had just taken place – and was taking place in their minds and hearts as they grappled with the death of The One they followed with all their minds, with all their souls, and with all their hearts.
We eulogize those we love in death because we seek to cover their flaws. (To ‘eulogize’ means to speak a good word.) There was no need to eulogize The Christ because He had no flaws. He was young and vital, and filled with joy unspeakable – more than any man. He spoke with such eloquence of simplicity any man could understand Him. He was common and lowly, and rejected no one ever. He served all men always. He healed all forms of disease and frailty with such an ease it shocked all mankind, especially religious leaders. He moved in the power of God His Father, and He encouraged all to serve their fellow man as He had served them. He had a boundless love for all mankind. The disciples of Jesus saw all this and more in His character and His manner close-up. They knew He was genuine, and they KNEW He was the very Son of God He claimed to be. The Messiah. The Christ.
And so, we can only begin to imagine the degree of grief they bore in His (what they thought to be) untimely death. That He had been crucified for no crime but for the sin of others, (the impious jealousy of the religious leaders,) only made it worse.
The second morning after His death the body of Jesus would have been cold. The tomb was a cool dark environment, designed specifically to decompose the flesh as soon as possible so the bones could be gathered and placed in an ossuary and the tomb re-used. Jesus’ body had been washed, wrapped, and cared for tenderly by Joseph and Nicodemus at great risk to themselves and to their stature. But there remained some tasks to be performed for the body which time had not permitted due to the sequence of the Sabbaths in and around the Passover feast.
The grief carried by the women who approached the tomb was greater than the burden of spices and aloes they carried to anoint His dead body.
What they saw and experienced next was the greatest event in the history of the world, and raises the ultimate question ever asked of the world: “Why do you seek the living among the dead?”