Jesus was launching a subtle rebellion at his resurrection, the day when Eternity invaded Temporality and Life swallowed Death. He upended the norms of Death and played by his own rules.
He declared one of his norms in Matthew 20:16: “The last will be first, and the first last.” He immediately implemented that rule when the sun was barely up: Women were his first witnesses. Many rabbis took a dim view of women generally and rendered their testimony invalid. Citing their eye-witness reports was tantamount to declaring: “I know Jesus rose. The town drunk told me so.”
But Jesus was ushering in the resurrected life, which embraced the truth articulated in Galatians 3:28: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
And it would go on. He would not punish guilt-riddled Peter in the wake of the apostle’s denial. Instead, he would restore him. He would not abandon the apostles who abandoned him at the cross. He would grant them grace. The ways of life would overthrow the ways of death wherever he journeyed.
Such are the rules of God’s kingdom and the resurrected life.