The Three Marys at the Tomb

Mid-20th century
Stained glass
Frauenkirche, Munich, Germany

The figure on the left is the "youth" of Mark 16:5, not the "Angel of the Lord" of Matthew 28:2. In Mark 16 the three Marys come to the tomb with spices to anoint the body, but in the tomb they find a youth in a white robe. The scroll presents his words to the women: JESUS QUEM QUAERITIS NON EST HIC SURREXIT, "Jesus whom you seek is not here; he has risen." The Latin is taken not directly from Mark but from the medieval Quem Quaeritis tropes, in which a person in the role of the youth asks the women Quem quaeritis, "Whom do you seek?" When they answer "Jesus" he tells them Non est hic, surrexit sicut praedixerat, "He is not here; he is risen as he predicted" (Bevington, 27-28).

The departure of Jesus himself is symbolized by the plant growing from the head of the open sarcophagus, a reference to John 12:24-25 ("Unless the grain of wheat falling into the ground die, itself remaineth alone. But if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit") and I Corinthians 15:36 ("That which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die first").

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Photographed at the Frauenkirche by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.