The Women at the Resurrection
When we look around us at this time of year, it can be a bit refreshing to see more people talk about the Lord we serve than they might normally do. Others, surely, only use the time to focus on remnants of fertility festivals and chocolate, but some people will take this time to say something about Jesus. Even people who don't attend a church regularly might be willing to engage in conversations about what we believe happened almost 2,000 years ago.
Some people's perception of the church is colored heavily by the enemies of the Lord, and will slander it as being hostile to many sections of society. Many will maintain that the church is even against women, despite what the bible says about respecting and loving our wives, mothers, and daughters. Even the account of the resurrection, which many will be more apt to read at this time of year, shows the bible's respect for the women who were involved at the time.
Matthew's account of the resurrection (Matthew 28:1-10) informs us that both the angels and Jesus Himself instructed the two women named Mary to tell the disciples that Jesus had risen from the grave. The first people to tell the news of the risen Savior were women, and they were instructed to do so by Jesus Himself. This shows us that women were not only valuable to Jesus, but were trusted and relied on to convey a message.
Mark's account of the same event (Mark 16:1-11) tells us a few other things in detail, including what the women were trying to accomplish at the tomb. They went out before dawn, while it was still dark, and planned to anoint and care for the corpse of the Teacher they loved so much, showing Him honor in His death. They were working, even though they were unsure who was going to help them remove the heavy stone that blocked the cave entrance.
In Luke's account (Luke 24:13-27), we can see that not all of the disciples believed the message the women brought concerning the risen Lord. When Jesus finally appeared to His disciples, He called them “foolish men and slow of heart to believe” even though the women had described exactly what the prophets promised. When the word of the women agreed with the words of scripture, Jesus expected His followers to believe them.
The more personal account recorded in the fourth gospel (John 20:11-18) records Mary's emotional conversation with Jesus, as well as His commands to her. This means that the Holy Spirit considered Mary Magdalene's meeting with a resurrected Jesus as worth recording in scripture so that thousands of years later, we might know what was said. If women were not important to God, or His work of salvation, then they would not be featured so prominently in the account of the most important event in the history of mankind.
Not all of us take note of this time of year in the same way, but we can all be dedicated to reaching out to people and telling them the truth about God’s kingdom.