"But in the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn towards the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. [Matthew 28:1-8] And behold there was a great earthquake. For an angel of the Lord descended from Heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door of the tomb, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow."
"After the resurrection came the angel. Wherefore then came he, and took away the stone? Because of the women, for they themselves had seen Him then in the sepulchre. Therefore that they might believe that He was risen again, they see the sepulchre void of the body. For this cause he removed the stone, for this cause also an earthquake took place, that they might be thoroughly aroused and awakened. For they were come to pour oil on Him, and these things were done at night, and it is likely that some also had become drowsy. And for what intent and cause doth he say, "Fear not ye?" First he delivers them from the dread, and then tells them of the resurrection. And the ye is of one showing them great honor, and indicating, that extreme punishment awaits them that had dared to do, what the others had dared, except they repented. For to be afraid is not for you, he means, but for them that crucified Him.
"Having delivered them then from the fear both by his words, and by his appearance (for his form he showed bright, as bearing such good tidings), he went on to say, "I know that ye seek Jesus the Crucified." And he is not ashamed to call Him "crucified;" for this is the chief of the blessings.
"He is risen." Whence is it evident? "As He said. "So that if ye refuse to believe me, he would say, remember His words, and neither will ye disbelieve me. Then also another proof, "Come and see the place where He lay." For this he had lifted up the stone, in order that from this too they might receive the proof. "And tell His disciples, that ye shall see Him in Galilee." And he prepares them to bear good tidings to others, which thing most of all made them believe. And He said well "in Galilee," freeing them from troubles and dangers, so that fear should not hinder their faith.
"And they departed from the sepulchre with fear and joy." Why could this be? They had seen a thing amazing, and beyond expectation, a tomb empty, where they had before seen Him laid. Wherefore also He had led them to the sight, that they might become witnesses of both things, both of His tomb, and of His resurrection. For they considered that no man could have taken Him, when so many soldiers were sitting by Him, unless He raised up Himself. For this cause also they rejoice and wonder, and receive the reward of so much continuance with Him, that they should first see and gladly declare, not what had been said only, but also what they beheld.
"Therefore after then they had departed with fear and joy, "Behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail." But "they held Him by the feet," and with exceeding joy and gladness ran unto Him, and received by the touch also, an infallible proof, and full assurance of the resurrection. "And they worshipped Him." What then saith He? "Be not afraid." Again, He Himself casts out their fear, making way for faith, "But go, tell my brethren, that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me." Mark how He Himself sends good tidings to His disciples by these women, bringing to honor, as I have often said, that sex, which was most dishonored, and to good hopes; and healing that which was diseased.
"Perchance some one of you would wish to be like them, to hold the feet of Jesus; ye can even now, and not His feet and His hands only, but even lay hold on that sacred head, receiving the awful mysteries with a pure conscience. But not here only, but also in that day ye shall see Him, coming with that unspeakable glory, and the multitude of the angels, if ye are disposed to be humane; and ye shall hear not these words only, "All hail!" but also those others, "Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you before the foundation of the world."
- St. John Chrysostom, taken from Homily LXXXIX, 390 A.D., from Homilies on St. Matthew, translated by Rev. Sir George Prevost, Baronet, M.A., revised, with Notes, by Rev. M. B. Riddle, D.D., reprinted on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library.