I am going to start a very interesting and powerful series of columns on Jesus and women. Please let your friends know of this and you can follow it week by week. It may sound a strange place to start’¦at the Cross.
However I feel this is the best place to start as we consider Jesus and women.
At the cross the women shine as lights in the darkness. One of the twelve disciples had betrayed Jesus and the other eleven had forsaken Jesus the night before. Peter had observed Jesus from a distance but then cursed and denied that he even knew Jesus. On the day of the crucifixion of Jesus these and many other male followers of Jesus were in hiding and filled with fear. The lone exception was that John was at the cross with Mary the Mother of Jesus.
In Jesus’ hour of need in the Garden of Gethsemane the men slept! At the cross when Jesus could have looked out at some friendly and supportive faces the men were gone. Only John was there.
Oh, but the women were there! With love, tears, pain and with no fear of their lives the women who had followed Jesus from Galilee and ministered to Him stood as giants in the history of the life of Jesus and for all time.
There must have been a large crowd of women. Note the words below ‘and many other women who came up with Him to Jerusalem.’
How many is many? We don’t know but they were fearless. Not only were they there at the cross but also when Jesus was taken down from the cross they were there to prepare His body for burial. They stayed behind to witness the Body of Jesus placed in the tomb and sealed.
The awesome, loving and faithful women went away and prepared to return.
“Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.’
Please read carefully the following.
And many women who followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to Him
were there looking on from afar,
among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.
And Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting opposite the tomb.
There were also women looking on from afar, among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the Less and of Joses, and Salome,
who also followed Him and ministered to Him when He was in Galilee; and many other women who came up with Him to Jerusalem.
And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses
observed where He was laid.
But all His acquaintances, and the women who followed Him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.
And the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed after, and they observed the tomb and how His body was laid.
Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.
Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.
When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!’
Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!’ And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.
Some of the scriptures say they were standing from a distance or afar but John tells of them moving closer. They came and stood by the cross. Close enough for Jesus to speak to John (we are sure this is the person) to take care of Mary. Jesus gave to John the care of His mother.
Even in the great suffering of Jesus on the cross He cared for His mother.
Oh, how comforting it must have been for Jesus to see all these many women around the cross loving Him.
These women who had ministered to Him must have so wanted to care for Jesus in this hour but all they could do was just be there.
I am a man. However it was not the men that supported Jesus in His hours of need. It was women.
I have carried the cross around the world and in every nation. I have been in thousands of churches around the world.
What I have seen in places of great oppression and suffering. It is the women that ‘shine’ like these at the cross.
Well do I remember going into churches during the time of communism in Eastern Europe and Russia. The congregations were mostly women. They refused to let the churches die and the witness of Jesus vanish even under oppression. I will never forget the faces of these brave women and their love for Jesus and the cross. Sure there were some men but mostly they were women.
As you can see during the time of Jesus being in the Garden of Gethsemane through His trials and the cross, the burial and resurrection it was the women who stood with Jesus and even as Jesus carried the cross He spoke to the women, they were there.
There is just something about women that is so sensitive to suffering and seeming weakness that causes them to rise to the occasion.
Men want to fight and battle and be tough and strong but then find it difficult to just love and care and deal with supposed weakness.
Everything about the suffering of Jesus was foretold in scripture and prophesies. So there is no doubt that God planed the women to be there with His Only Begotten Son in His greatest need.
Even in the modern church it is so common to find the majority of people serving in church are women.
I will even say that the people e-mailing me from this website are at least three out of four women.
So I encourage you women to hold fast in love and ministering to Jesus today. That is not a sign of weakness but strength!
It was strong, loving and fearless women at the cross. We need the same today. Sad thing is that many men fear women ministering to Jesus. Jesus did not fear women but welcomed them. He still does!
Jesus is so excited about women that He even compares the church to being His Bride!
This kind of love is welcoming to all, both men and women.
Arise ladies and Follow Jesus’¦men too!
No matter what the cost I know many women will stay faithful to Jesus.
Just look at the cross and see who was there!
Pilgrim followers of Jesus,
Arthur and Denise Blessitt