Why Female Eyewitnesses Authenticate the Resurrection

As Richard Bauckham notes,

[The women] “saw” the events as Jesus died (Matt 27:55; Mark 15:40; Luke 23:49), they “saw” where he was laid in the tomb (Mark 15:47; Luke 23:55), they went on the first day of the week to “see” the tomb (Matt 28:1), they “saw” the stone rolled away (Mark 16:4), they “saw” the young man sitting on the right side (Mark 16:5), and the angel invited them to “see” the empty place where Jesus’ body had lain (Matt 28:6; Mark 16:6).

“It could hardly be clearer,” Bauckham concludes, “that the Gospels are appealing to their role as eyewitnesses.” In light of this, Mary Magdalene’s announcement, “I have seen the Lord,” is doubly significant. Like a modern-day journalist with photo footage to back up her story, she’s standing as an eyewitness of Jesus’s resurrection, not only to the apostles but also to the reader.