Mary Magdalene went to the burial cave ~
Jesus' tomb ~ without her lady friends.  
Even though there was an earthquake as
she neared the garden tomb and it was
now raining, she kept going.

She saw the angel who told her Jesus had
come back to life, but she didn't believe
him.  She thought someone had stolen his
body.  So she rushed back to Jerusalem to
tell Jesus' apostles.

Then Mary Magdalene returned to the
garden where the tomb was and sat and
cried.  Soon she saw two angels in the
tomb.  She walked into the cave and they
told her Jesus had come back to life.

When she left the tomb, she saw someone
and thought he was the gardener. She
kept on crying.

She finally asked the gardener if he took
Jesus' body away.  He didn't answer.
Instead he said her name, "Mary!"  She
recognized his voice and stopped crying
very amazed.  

He wasn't a gardener after all!  He was
Jesus!  She was so happy to see him.  He
told her to go find his apostles and tell
them he was alive again.

While she was returning to Jerusalem, her
four lady friends arrived at the garden
with spices to wrap his body in.  But still
they did not know who they'd get to roll
the stone away.

They were Mary Magdalene's friends who
traveled with Jesus and helped him with
their money and time:  Joanna,  Salome,
Suzanna, and the other Mary.

When they got there, the stone was
already rolled away, and a bright angel was
sitting on top of the stone.  The women
were frightened.  Was God angry?

Instead, the angel smiled and said, "I've
come to bring you some wonderful news!  
You're looking for Jesus.  He's not buried
any more.  He came back to life!"

The curious women looked in the cave.  
There were the same two angels who
talked to Mary Magdalene moments earlier.
"Jesus actually came back to life," they
said grinning.

The women had to go tell his apostles. But
on their way out of the garden, someone
stopped them.  He was standing in the
way.  They stared.  It was Jesus!

They rushed forward and bowed at Jesus'
feet.  Everyone laughed and cried at the
same time.  Everyone was so happy.

Jesus told the women to go tell his
apostles he would meet them back up north
where their home town was and where they
would be safer.

When they got to the apostles and told
them, none of the apostles believed them.  
It was too hard to believe at first.

Do you believe Jesus came back to life?  
Sometimes it takes people awhile before
they believe.  Then they are very happy.