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Three Women of Easter
Women did not abandon Jesus in His hour of need. Here’s a closer look at three of these ladies who were there for Him.

Women are an integral part of the Easter story. All four Gospel accounts of the crucifixion and resurrection include women.   Women stood by Jesus both at the cross and at the tomb. They were His faithful female followers.

Mark, thought to be the earliest Gospel account, gives this synopsis of the crucifixion scene: 

    Some women were watching from a distance. Among them
   
were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the
    younger and of Joses, and Salome. In Galilee these women
    had followed Jesus and cared for His needs. Many other
    women who had come up with Him to Jerusalem were also
    there
(Mark 15:40, 41).

In other words, women did not abandon Jesus in His hour of need! We want to look closer at three of these ladies.

We know from John’s account that Mary, Jesus’ own mother, was present at the cross. This is when the “sword of Simeon,” the prophetic word spoken to her by the old prophet in Luke 2:35, pierced her the deepest. Although Mary is not specifically mentioned being at the resurrection, we do know that she was present after Jesus rose from the dead, when the disciples were all “gathered in one place” (Acts 1:14). Mary stood by her son, at the beginning, at the end, and even after the end.

Mary Magdalene was also a woman of Easter. In fact, all four Gospels also mention her being at the crucifixion and resurrection. Although much speculation and fiction has been written about Mary of Magdala, we really know very little about her. Luke gives one sentence about her background, that she was one “from whom seven demons had come out” (Luke 8:2). She obviously knew Jesus well enough to be noted as being a vigilant watcher at both the cross and the empty tomb. Mary knew her Saviour, but didn’t recognize Him after His resurrection until He called her by name: “Mary” (John 20:16). He calls us by name too!

The third woman we notice is Salome. Salome was most likely Zebedee’s wife, the mother of James and John (see Matthew 27:56). She had given birth to these two “sons of Thunder,” and had asked Jesus if they could be the ones to sit at His right and left hands in the kingdom to come (see Matthew 20:20-24). She had to have had chutzpah to ask this, but this same boldness kept her nearby her Teacher all the way through that dark weekend. She was another faithful female follower.

How do these women speak to us today? First, just the fact that they were present is remarkable. Women were not typically on the scene of grisly Roman crucifixions. They were also going out on a huge limb by being present after the death of Jesus, when the Roman army had set out guards to watch the tomb (see Matthew 27:55, 56). Second, these women were not only brave, but they were spurred on by their tenacious faith; they believed in this Man Jesus, that He was who He said He was. There must be more to Him than mourning Him. 

Finally, they were rewarded for their faith. These women had the privilege of being the announcers of the Good News, “He has risen!” Praise God that women were not only included on the scene of “Greatest Story Ever Told,” but they were crucial in its telling. They indeed were the first evangelists. May we as women follow in their steps, and keep on speaking forth the news that He has risen. He has risen, indeed!

Melissa Bone, speaker and co-author of The Power of Blessing along with her husband Terry, has been frequently featured on 100 Huntley Street’s“Full Circle” program for women. www.powerofblessing.com, or www.idministries.ca.

Originally published on the ID Ministries website, April 2009.

Used with permission. Copyright © 2009 Christianity.ca.

C9AP08

 

 
 
 
 

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