It is the early morning, most are still asleep. Yet here they are, with heavy hearts, and they are walking along the dusty road huddled close together. Not much is spoken, they are silent yet purposely walking with a determination to get to their destination. There is something they must do and do quickly. Yet they do not even know if they will be able to accomplish their task. How will they roll the stone away from the tomb entrance?
They have experienced the most overwhelming heart-wrenching experience imaginable and have not slept all night. Now in the early morning hours, there is anxiety, fear and heartache mixed in with their love for the one that was taken from them. They hurry. The sun has just come up and they are almost there.
In Matthew, Mark, Luke and John the women are named. Maybe there were more.
They think no one is watching them. But Someone does see them coming.
Jesus' body had been quickly removed from the cross before sundown and laid in a tomb without having been prepared for burial.
So now, in the early morning light, they come, making their way to the tomb.
Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. Matthew 28:1
When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. Mark 16: 1-2
The women were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James; they and the other women with them. Luke 24:10
Early Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone was rolled aside from the entrance. John 20
Emotions are high and the events of the crucifixion are still fresh in their minds. They are remembering the moans from the cross and His horrific pain. Can they hear the sounds of the angry crowd still? Does the sound of thunder and the experience of darkness that afternoon bring fear to their hearts? It is now the third day. Is all hope lost in proving to others that Jesus IS their Messiah?
These women would be passionately telling you, if they could, that their lives were forever changed. Time spent listening to His teachings and time spent in seeing to the needs of their Teacher and others. Have you encountered Jesus and been changed forever?
Yes, each had her own story to tell.
Mary Magdalene was delivered from seven demons.
Joanna was the wife of King Harod's steward.
Mary's son, James, was chosen as one of Jesus' disciples.
Mary, the sister of Lazarus, one of Jesus' closest friends.
These, and for certain, many other women who are not named, had been touched by His love and compassion.
These "certain women" dedicated their time and lives to providing for the needs of His ministry wherever they could. Some gave their money, others prepared food and maybe even mended clothing for others. Each woman gave her life in service, knowing their life had been made brand new.
I am sure there were many people who did not notice the women's service to Jesus, but God was watching from above. He saw their acts of selfless love. Now He sees their hearts filled with pain yet overflowing with love on their way to the tomb.
What they will soon see is a surprise waiting for them as they come to the tomb.
When they arrived, they “found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus” (Luke 24:2–3).
They hear these words...
“Why do you seek the living among the dead?” the angels asked. “He is not here but has risen!” (Luke 24:5–6)
The words of the angel helped the women to remember what Jesus had once said,
"The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again."
Yes, these "certain women" were especially blessed. Jesus appeared first to a woman. And to women, the special privilege of being the carrier of the good news that He was alive!
The angel had instructed, “But go, tell his disciples” (Mark 16:7).
My dear sister's in Christ...
May we ask each morning to be a more effective "certain woman." To go and tell as we are instructed. To seek out those who need to hear. To those who are hurting, depressed, suffering physically or lonely. May we all desire to be "certain women."
He is watching.
Photos credit: Lumo Project