While John has Mary Magdalene arriving alone while it is still dark, Matthew has the other Mary with her and their arrival coinciding with dawn. There isn’t yet light, but neither is it dark, the dawn is breaking and with it a new world order, a new understanding, a new beginning, the darkness that covered the earth on Good Friday is lifting and it is women who are going to be the first to recognise it, the first to see it. These two Mary’s didn’t come with spices, they didn’t come to anoint Jesus’ body, they went to see the tomb.
Matthew records they were there when the tomb was sealed (Matthew 27:61); indeed he further writes that Mary Magdalene and the other Mary (the mother of James and Joseph) were at the cross when Jesus died. These two Mary’s have witnessed his death, his burial and now will be witnesses to his resurrection. For a society that said for an account to be taken as true it had to be witnessed by two people, yet one which a woman’s testimony didn’t count, Matthew, through these two women provides an unbroken account through the eyes of two women. Was Matthew, who would have been well versed in both Roman and Jewish law, also showing us his dawning and declaring that in God’s eyes women are equal to men, for not even one man witnessed all three of these events. For many a Jew the fact that these accounts had been only witnessed by women would be enough for them to be discounted as false.
What truths have we missed because the person or persons telling us them were not on our radar, not someone whom we would normally listen to? Are our ears open to hear all that God has to tell us, even when it comes from the most surprising of places?
After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb.