All four gospels describe a group of women who were devoted to special ministries to the Savior. These women served, supported and even traveled in order to prepare the way for Jesus and the Twelve. Mary, the mother of James, the younger and Joseph, was one of these women. In fact, she was one of the few followers (mostly women) who did not desert Jesus at the cross. She remained for the entire tragic ordeal. Imagine the wrenching of her heart as she helplessly watched the hideous torture, humiliation and crucifixion of the one she had found so understanding and gentle.
Staying behind when the crowds left the death scene, she and few of this loyal group followed Joseph of Arimathea as he took Jesus’ body to the tomb. Though they saw him die, they could not let him go – not yet. They needed to know where his body would rest.
After the Sabbath, these women spent hours gathering the spices used for burial – they still served him. With heavy hearts they got up early in the morning, packed the spices and trudged toward the tomb. When they arrived, there was an eerie silence, not the silence of death but rather of wonder – the tomb was open and empty.
God had honored these faithful women in a special way. At the lowest point of Christianity, Mary and her companions were the first to receive the news that revolutionized the world. Composers, writers and artists through the centuries have celebrated the message they, alone, heard that morning – “he has risen.”
Article drawn from the NIV Woman’s Study Bible.
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