When women showed up to do the workFree Access

On the Sunday morning after Jesus was crucified, a group of women rose before the sun came up. They had work to do. The body of Jesus needed to be prepared for permanent burial.

We know specifically that Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, Salome and Joanna were there. The gospel of Luke tells us that some other unnamed women were with them.

“Suddenly the earth reeled and rocked under their feet as God’s angel came down from heaven, came right up to where they were standing. He rolled back the stone and then sat on it. Shafts of lightning blazed from him. His garments shimmered snow-white. The guards at the tomb were scared to death. They were so frightened, they couldn’t move.

“The angel spoke to the women: ‘There is nothing to fear here. I know you’re looking for Jesus, the One they nailed to the cross. He is not here. He was raised, just as he said. Come and look at the place where he was placed.

“‘Now, get on your way quickly and tell his disciples, He is risen from the dead. He is going on ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. That’s the message.’

“The women, deep in wonder and full of joy, lost no time in leaving the tomb. They ran to tell the disciples. Then Jesus met them, stopping them in their tracks. ‘Good morning!’ he said. They fell to their knees, embraced his feet, and worshiped him. Jesus said, ‘You’re holding on to me for dear life! Don’t be frightened like that. Go tell my brothers that they are to go to Galilee, and that I’ll meet them there.’” (Matthew 28:2-10, MSG)

With the exception of Mary Magdalene, we know very little about these women. None of them are mentioned often in the gospels or the rest of the New Testament. Their roles as Jewish women in the first century would have kept them from notable leadership roles. They wrote no books of the Bible. Their names have never been on the list of important figures in the emerging church.

But they were the ones who encountered the messenger from God. They stepped into a scene written according to the plan of God, a scene complete with an angel who entered the story of resurrection with all the power of heaven. They felt the ground shake beneath their feet. They stood in the radiance of the angel’s light. And, of all His disciples, they were the first to see Jesus in resurrected form.

They held no cultural importance. But they showed up.

And because they showed up to do the work, they walked into the power of God’s story and ran right smack-dab into Jesus.

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