At that time, Joseph of Arimathe’a, a respected member of the council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus. And Pilate wondered if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether Jesus was already dead. And when he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph. And he bought a linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud, and laid him in a tomb which had been hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. Mary Mag’dalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid. And when the sabbath was past, Mary Mag’dalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salo’me, bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb at the rising of the sun. And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the door of the tomb?” And looking up, they saw that the stone was rolled back—it was very large.
And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe; and they were amazed. And he said to them, “Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen, he is not here; see the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you.” And they went out quickly and fled from the tomb; for trembling and astonishment had come upon them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.
Here are some questions about the Gospel reading:
1. How do the women react when they enter the tomb and see a young man sitting in it?
2. What does it mean to be amazed?
3. Why are the women amazed?
4. Do you think it is normal for them to be amazed at what they saw? What do you think is amazing in this gospel?
5. Why do you suppose the young man tells them, “Do not be amazed”?
6. Would the young man tell you, “Do not be amazed” at what you found amazing in this gospel? Why or why not?