In the Company of Women….

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Imagine yourself as one of the women who walked to Jesus’ tomb early on that Sunday morning……

 

John 20:1, 11-16   Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb……..  Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.  They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”  “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.  He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”  Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”  Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).

Luke 23:56- 24:4 The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment. …..On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them.

Matthew 28: 1-10 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.  There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow.  The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.  The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.  He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.  Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”   So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

Mark 15:47- 16:1-9  Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where he was laid…..When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body.  Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb  and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”   But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.  “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.  But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’” ….. When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons.  She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping.  When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it.

Have you ever noticed that among the last ones to linger by the cross were the women and the first to journey to the tomb on the day after the Jewish Sabbath were the women and the first ones to whom Jesus appeared and spoke after his resurrection were the women……They were the first to bear the Gospel of Christ’s resurrection to the world!   Christ has honored the faithfulness of women and the worship of women, as in his words about Mary, who applied oil to his feet with her hair. (Matthew 26:6-13, Mark 14:3-9,  Luke 7:36-50, John 12:1-8)   He demonstrated his love for women by saving women from physical death and spiritual death.  He affirmed their faith again and again. And still, some deny the worthiness of women to bear the gospel in the church and in the world today    …….what an oppressive place churches led by such people are for women!   But the news of Easter morning is that there is freedom…..to love, proclaim, and live in the joy of the resurrected Christ!  Even for women like me…..

 

Those who have been forgiven much, love much……it’s not just a “woman thing!”

 

 

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