Gregory_PalamasThe resurrection of the Lord is the regeneration of human nature.

It is the resuscitation and re-creation of the first Adam, whom sin led to death, and who because of death, again was made to retrace his steps on the earth from which he was made.

The resurrection is the return to immortal life.

Whereas no one saw that first man when he was created and given life—because no man existed yet at that time—woman was the first person to see him after he had received the breath of life by divine inbreathing.

For after him, Eve was the first human being.

Likewise no one saw the second Adam, who is the Lord, rise from the dead, for none of his followers were nearby and the soldiers guarding the tomb were so shaken that they were like dead men.

Following the resurrection, however, it was a woman who saw Him first before the others.

[…] The Myrrhbearers are all those women who followed with the mother of the Lord, stayed with her during those hours of the salvific passion, and with pathos anointed him with myrrh.

After Joseph and Nicodemos asked for and received the body of the Lord from Pilate, they took it down from the cross, wrapped it in a cloth with strong spices, placed it in a carved out tomb, and closed the door of the tomb with a large stone.

The Myrrhbearers were close by and watched, and as the Evangelist Mark relates, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were seated opposite the grave. With the expression “and the other Mary” he means the mother of Christ without a doubt.

[…] St Luke writes that they went and bought spices and myrrh; for they did not yet clearly know that he is truly the perfume of life for those who approach him in faith, just as he is also the odor of death for those who remain unbelievers to the end.

They did not yet clearly know that the odor of his clothes, the odor of his own body, is greater than all perfumes, that his name is like myrrh that is poured out to cover the world with his divine fragrance.

For those who wanted to remain close by the body, they contrived an antidote of perfumes for the stench of decomposition and anointed it. Thus they prepared the myrrh and the spices and rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.

For they had not yet experienced the true sabbath, nor did they understand that exceedingly blessed sabbath that transports us from the confines of hell to the perfection of the bright and divine heights of heaven.

Gregory Palamas (1296-1359): Homily for the Sunday of The Myrrhbearing Women, translated by Fr. Hierodeacon Photios Touloumes+ from Migne P.G. vol 151, pp 236-248; full text @ Saint Nektarios Greek Orthodox Church.

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