Resurrection Healing

“I know a woman with some chronic illness who, occasionally you ask her: ‘How are you feeling,’ ‘Doesn’t it hurt,’ ‘Aren’t you in a lot of discomfort?’ And she says, ‘Nothing that the resurrection won’t cure.'” -Tim Keller, “How to Overcome Waves”

A Thought on Harmonizing the Easter Narratives

It is sometimes pointed out that the Easter narratives are very different on some strange points. They all unifiedly (new word!) testify that Jesus was bodily resurrection. But… why does Matthew only mention Mary Magdalene and “the other Mary” going to the tomb, while Mark also adds that Salome was with them, but Luke omits Salome and adds Joanna, and John only mentions Mary Magdalene?

It is a bit unusual. But John also adds an interesting clue to suggest that even if he only wants to mention Mary M, she didn’t go to the tomb alone. After discovering the empty tomb, she panics, and goes to tell Peter and John what happened. She says, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” (John 20:2)

We do not know where they have laid him.” We? ‘We’ who? I thought it was just Mary M. there that morning. “We” seems to be a subtle clue that Mary M. had not gone to the tomb by herself that morning. It also suggests that even if John wants to focus our attention specifically on Mary, it is not because it didn’t know other women went to.

If all that holds up, it probably should shape the way we read the Easter narratives. The omission of some details in the accounts may be more deliberate than we realize. It’s all part of the particular style that each Evangelist uses in telling the story of Jesus.