Women and The Cross
Some women were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. 41 In Galilee these women had followed him and cared for his needs. Many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem were also there.” (Mark 15:40-41)
Women have played an integral part in the earthly life and ministry of Jesus Christ. From the time of His birth until the time of His death, Jesus was surrounded by women who loved and supported Him.
In the fullness of time, God sent His Son….through a woman (Galatians 4:4). In Luke, chapter 1, young Mary was told by the angel Gabriel that “ The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God .” How did Mary reply? She simply said, “ I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.”
After He was born, Jesus’ position as Messiah was confirmed by a widow named Anna, who was a prophetess. She spent her days in the temple praying to God and when the devout man, Simeon, whom God promised would not see death until he saw the Messiah, gave thanks to God for his seeing Jesus, Anna came in and confirmed that Jesus was indeed the Messiah (Luke 2:25-40).
In His earthly ministry, Jesus was surrounded by women. In a time when women had few legal rights and were considered the property of men, Jesus saw their worth and treated them as equals. He saw women as God’s children and had compassion on them. During His life Jesus ministered to a variety of women, including:
- Peter’s mother-in-law (Mark 1:30 -31).
- The Widow of Nain (Luke 7:10 -12.).
- Mary Magdalene, from whom Jesus cast out seven demons (Luke 8:2).
- The woman with the issue of blood (Luke 8:42 -45).
- The woman caught in adultery (John 8:2-11).
- The Syrophoenician woman and her daughter (Mark 7:20 -29).
- Jairus’ daughter, who he raised from the dead (Luke 8:41 -50).
- Martha & Mary, who he came to comfort in the death of their brother, Lazarus (John 11).
- Mary, his mother, who He made sure was cared for at His death (John 19: 25 -27).
While Jesus spent Himself in ministering to people, it was women who ministered to Him. Many women traveled with Jesus, supporting His ministry financially and caring for His needs. One of these women was Mary Magdalene. A pair of sisters also were of great help to Jesus. Martha and Mary from Bethany often entertained Jesus and His disciples. While they are usually remembered for their squabble over work (Luke 10:38 -42), Martha and Mary should be remembered for their hospitality to Christ on several occasions and their utter devotion to Him; and Him to them. It was at their request that He made the journey to Bethany to visit their sick brother, Lazarus, which led to Jesus raising him from the dead.
There were other women, some who were named and some who were not, that were an important part in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. And while most of His twelve disciples were absent at his crucifixion, it was these same women who remained with Him at the cross until he died (Mark 15:40 ; John 19:25 ).
Since women were an important part of His ministry, it should be no surprise that the risen Christ revealed himself first to women and used them to bring the new of his resurrection to others (Luke 24:1-12).
There is no doubt that Jesus loved women. He loved us enough to pay the penalty for our sins by dying a violent death on the cross. Today is Good Friday. Let’s take a moment to remember the ultimate price He paid because of His great love for us and His desire to provide a way for us to have peace with God.
P.S. Remember, it doesn’t end with the tomb. According to the Scriptures, on the 3rd day Christ rose from the dead (Luke 24:1-12). I will end with this traditional Easter greeting, from days of old: “He is Risen…..He’s Risen Indeed.”