Women play the central role as eyewitness at Jesus’ death, entombment as well as in the discovery of the empty tomb. All four gospels, key scriptures in the Christian tradition, mention women going to the tomb of Jesus. The featured image shows the group of the three Myrrhbearers going to the tomb of Jesus on Easter morning. Mary Magdalene, Mary of Clopas, Mary Salome. Mary was a very common name for Jewish women of the period. The three Marys came very early on Easter morning to the sepulchre of Jesus: They had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint his body. Later on, they were the first who heard the announcement of his resurrection. By the way, the presence of women as the key witnesses who discover the empty tomb has been seen as increasing the credibility of the testimony, since, in the Jewish and Greco-Roman culture, one might expect a fabrication to place men, and especially numerous and important men, at this critical place, rather than just “some grieving women”. The gospels repeatedly make women the subject of verbs of seeing, clearly presenting them as eyewitnesses.
To sum up: Olfactory activists were the first to discover the empty tomb. Happy Easter!
The featured image of this post is a section of a 14th century drawing from Armenia: The Women at the Tomb; The Descent into Limbo:
Image source: J. Paul Getty Museum