When chronology can be discerned, the order of Jesus’ post resurrection appearances is often very important. One such instance concerns the chronology of Jesus’ appearances to the women. It seems the first two of Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances were to Mary Magdalene (John 20:11-18) and the other to a group of women on their way back to Jerusalem from the gravesite (Matthew 28:8-10). Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were probably part of the Bethany group of women, which I presume arrived at the tomb before the Jerusalem party, because they wondered about the stone (Mark 16:1-3), but the Jerusalem party did not (Luke 24:1-2). The reason being, Mary Magdalene had met them on their way to the tomb, after she left to tell Peter and the other disciple that someone had stolen the body, and informed them what she had already found.
The Jerusalem group of women hurried to the tomb and joined the women from Bethany. When they looked into the tomb they saw the two angels. Both groups of women were then told to tell the other disciples that Jesus was alive and had risen from the dead (Matthew 28:7-8; Mark 16:7). The Jerusalem party hurried back to the city (Luke 24:9), while the Bethany women returned to Bethany but didn’t find any of the disciples (Mark 16:8).
Meanwhile, Mary Magdalene had already gotten Peter and the other disciple and they came to the tomb another way, missing the women returning to Jerusalem. They found the tomb empty, and the men returned to Jerusalem believing Jesus’ body was stolen (John 20:2, 8). Mary, however, remained at the tomb, and Jesus appeared to her (John 20:11-18), and Mark tells us that Jesus appeared to her first, before anyone else (Mark 16:9-10). Not long afterward, while Luke’s group of women were still on their way to Jerusalem, at first having only the testimony of the angels that Jesus had risen from the dead (cf. Luke 24:4-9), Jesus appeared to them, as they hurried on their way (Matthew 28:5-9). Therefore, they had seen Jesus as well as Mary Magdalene, but how should we understand these two appearances with respect to one another, and why is it important?
The day that Luke highlights in Luke 24:1 is not simply “the first day of the week” (i.e. Sunday). Yes, it is the first day of the week (Sunday), but it was a **particular** first day of the week. Literally speaking, the day was “the First Day of the Weeks.” Notice the plural weeks. In each of the four accounts (Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:2; Luke 24:1 and John 20:1) the word translated week is plural, weeks in the Greek. In other words, it was the first day the Jews used to count toward Pentecost or the Feast of Weeks. This was the day following the weekly Sabbath that fell between the annual Holy Day Sabbaths that occurred during the eight day Passover Festival (see Leviticus 23:9-14).
About the time Jesus died upon the cross, some of the priests were in the fields tying together bundles of barley sheaves. In this manner they marked out those sheaves to be harvested for the Wave Sheaf Offering, which was celebrated about dawn (cir. 6 AM) on the First Day of the Weeks. The actual harvest of the bundles, however, occurred the night before the offering. That is, the harvesting of the barley sheaves occurred just as the weekly Sabbath ended at sundown (our Saturday). The amount harvested was about an ephah (cir. 3 ½ pecks). This was the Firstfruits harvest, which represented Jesus’ resurrection (cf. 1Corinthians 15:20, 23), and may possibly indicate the time of Jesus’ resurrection.
Nothing could be harvested from the fields of the Promised Land, until the Firstfruits offering was harvested and offered as the Wave Sheaf Offering on the First day of the Weeks. This offering commenced a 50 day harvest season that culminated in the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost. Figuratively, this means no one who trusted in God could be harvested (resurrected), until after Jesus rose from the dead, and until his sacrifice was accepted by God about the time of the Wave Sheaf Offering in the year Jesus was crucified.
In this context, Jesus appeared to Mary (Mark 16:9) before his sacrifice had been formally accepted by his Father at the time of the Wave Sheaf Offering (John 20:17-18). In other words, the sun had not yet risen on Jerusalem when Jesus appeared to her. Moreover, an interesting point would be that the gravesite was only a distance of just over half a mile, and this would of necessity make Jesus appearances to Mary and Matthew’s group of women (Matthew 28:8-10) not far apart. A key point in understanding the chronology would be the fact that Jesus refused to allow Mary to touch him (John 20:17), but he did permit the other women to do so (Matthew 28:9). Why would this be important? The fact is, it shows us that Jesus had ascended to his Father in the Wave Sheaf Offering ceremony at the Temple (cf. Judges 13:17-20), which must have occurred between Jesus’ first two post-Resurrection appearances.
 See Unger’s Bible Dictionary, Festivals; “The Feast of Unleavened Bread” (g) ‘The 16th of Nisan, Cutting the Barley Sheaf’; page 355.