We likely won’t forget Easter 2020. Most of us celebrated in our homes, physically distanced from our church families. Reminders of this broken world fill our TV screens and social media feeds. Yet, in the midst of so much confusion, uncertainty, and fear, we still have joy because Jesus overcame death and sin. Women Doing Well President Julie Wilson reminds us of our role as Easter women, carrying the message “He is risen!” to a world in need of eternal hope.
You may have heard the saying that comes around this time of year: “We are an Easter people.” I love the image it inspires in me—a people living by faith and believing in the power of God to transform even death into life.
But so much of the Easter story I heard growing up focused on what the men did the day Jesus died. How the disciples couldn’t stay awake for Jesus during his darkest hour. Or how the thief who believed in Jesus in the last minutes of his life was promised paradise. And who can forget Peter’s famous denial of Jesus just hours before watching Him get crucified on the cross?
All of these stories resonate with me and clearly teach deep truths about what it means to be Easter people—people who, despite our unbelief and fumbling ways, are loved and saved by the blood of Jesus.
The women of Easter
But, what were the women doing that day? First, there is Mary, Jesus’ mother, who endured the grief of watching the One she nursed and raised to be a man, abused and murdered for His teaching. Or the “many women” who followed Jesus from Galilee mentioned in both the book of Matthew and Mark. And Mary Magdalene, healed by Jesus from seven demons and a devoted follower. She too was there and is recorded as having seen where Jesus’ body was buried. While Scripture doesn’t say specifically, I can imagine her staying long after the crowds left to help prepare Jesus’ body for burial with Joseph of Arimethea.
I have to confess I don’t know what I would have done that day. Would I have been like the many women who followed him from Galilee and after his death may have felt lost and abandoned? Or like Mary, the mother of Jesus, would I have held my suffering and disappointment before the Lord to use for His purposes? Or would I have been like Mary Magdalene, who upon seeing the risen Christ she obeyed and ran to tell the others?
All of them were Easter women—sacrificial, devout, present and carrying the message of Jesus.
Saved by God’s generous love
Being Easter women is not easy, but it’s oh so good. Women who know they are saved by grace and out of gratitude willingly surrender our purpose, passion, and plans to a generous God who loves us.
Like Easter morning, when the world had to grapple with the reality that God had indeed overcome death, we must keep asking ourselves if we believe the truth of the gospel. The tomb is empty; He is not here, He has risen. May we, as Easter women, shout with our lives, “He has risen indeed!”