God bless the women.
Depending upon your worship community, the service on Sunday morning may have started with a procession with palms and a story of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. Once inside the church, the service could have continued with a lengthy reading of the gospel story of the events of Holy Week. If so, you may have felt, as some people say, it was a service of many emotional ups and downs, a very depressing service.
Yes, Holy Week can be very depressing. It reminds us of the story of Jesus’ last days on earth. The story told is of Judas’ betrayal, the scattering of the disciples (ie. their abandonment), and Peter’s denial of even knowing Jesus. Hearing about those behaviors make a horrible story worse.
But, there is another side of the story – the side so often overlooked. We need to remember the women. It was a woman who anointed Jesus for his burial even before his arrest. It was women who were with him at the cross. It was women who prepared spices for his final anointing. It was women who discovered the empty tomb, and it was a woman, Mary Magdalene, who first spoke with the risen Jesus.
Yes, Jesus was betrayed, abandoned, and denied – but not by the women. The women stayed. The women were there as his witnesses, and they offered compassion and love.
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