Easter · Women's roles

The Women That Followed

There is no day so solemn as Good Friday. No day with such mixed emotions of sorrow and gladness as this day. I love to read in Luke 23 and 24 of the crucifixion and think about the details of that day. There is one particular detail that grabs my attention. In verse 27 it says,

“And there followed him a great company of people, and of women which also bewailed and lamented him.”

Who were these women and why did they take the risk of following Jesus right to the cross where He was nailed to die for their sins and mine? They were of the few that lingered still near the Savior. They followed, though there was great risk.

In verse 49 we read,

“And all his acquaintance, and the women that followed him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things.”

The crowd has thinned even more as Jesus’ acquaintance and these women stand from a distance and watch Him suffer, ask His Father to forgive those that crucified Him, speak with the thief who believed, and then bow His head and die. They followed, though on their part there was great remonstration. I’m sure at this point they still couldn’t understand the whys to His death; yet they followed.

The next time we read about these women it is in verse 55,

And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid.”

They followed Joseph of Arimatheaea to the place where he laid Jesus’ body. These women continue to follow, though there was great remorse. I can’t imagine them just watching without weeping and mourning His death. How they missed Him already, but they’ve come through their tears to see where He was buried so they could come back and anoint His body with spices.

Lastly, we see in chapter 10 verse 24 a group of women at the tomb.

“It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles.”

The things they told the disciples were the words, “He is risen!” They followed the Lord to the tomb, and now there is great rejoicing!

May you and I as women be willing to follow the Lord though
there is risk (what will people think?),
remonstration (why is this happening, Lord?)
and remorse (we aren’t promised a life with no suffering),
because at the day when we see Him face to face there will be great rejoicing!

When I traveled to Israel some years ago, I will never forget visiting the empty tomb. As I stood there in the garden area, I thought of that group of women that came to anoint Jesus’ body with spices early Sunday morning. I could picture myself with them there. Can you see yourself gathered and huddled with sorrow, then being overcome with such joy? Let’s be counted with that group of women that clung together. They had tremendous love for their Savior that kept them close. Look into His lovely face this week as you consider Easter, and refresh your love for such a Redeemer Who would die in your place.

If you need some ideas for celebrating Easter, you’ll find suggestions here.

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