The Event that Transforms the World
The women had at least one last task, to properly prepare the body for its long decay. The job done after the crucifixion was hurried to beat the setting sun. So they arrived early on Sunday morning with the intent of mourning and anointing Jesus' body. Only there was a problem. There was no body to anoint.
Something earth (existence) shattering had happened. Death was not able to hold Him. Jesus was raised from the grave. God the Father has accepted the sacrifice of the Son and our sins are forgiven. Witness the empty tomb.
Christianity did not grow slowly, but exploded into the Roman world. It did not begin in some out of the way place, but in Jerusalem, where it's claims could have easily been refuted had they not been true. Putting an end to the church should have been easy, unless there really was no body to find. Jesus literally died on a cross and literally rose from the grave.
And so a few fishermen, a tax collector, a zealot, some others, and eventually, in God's perfect irony and plan, a Pharisee took this "good news" to world. That Pharisee, the Apostle born out of time, would right these words (1 Corinthians 15:12-28):
12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.(ESV)
For more on the resurrection, please see Pastor J.D. Hatfield's post.
For an attempt at harmonizing the gospel accounts of the resurrection using a fictional disciple, see this post of mine.
He is risen indeed!