I read a beautiful magazine article a couple months ago highlighting the women who followed Jesus throughout His ministry. Women have significantly been left out of a lot of the scripture stories, and I have found myself wondering about the women who I know were a large part of the events referenced. I think a lot about the day when all things will be made known unto us, and we will be able to hear the incredible untold stories of women, especially those who were a large part of the Savior's life and His ministry. Women in the scriptures have always been somewhat of a mystery, but the New Testament has a few opportunities to get a glimpse of the strength, courage, and kindness women magnified in their role as disciples of Jesus.
As we study the scriptures we are reminded of those women, and the roles they played. One of the most influential women in the Savior's life, was of course his beautiful mother, Mary. From beginning to end, Mary stayed close and supported Jesus in all that God had called Him to become and do. From there, more women joined His ministry, traveling, testifying, supporting, doing all that was required of them as disciples of Christ. Luke 8:2-3 says “And certain women, which had been healed of the evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils… and Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto Him of their substance.” “Many others” communicates a very large group of women; what a wonderful sight that must have been. Their travels with Jesus were undoubtedly difficult, filled with fear, sometimes hunger, cruel people, and many trials. It was not easy, but I daresay it was definitely worth it!
To be aligned with Jesus was extremely dangerous. These women were probably aware of the threats that were associated with being one of His followers, yet they stayed. They journeyed by the side of their beloved Savior to His Crucifixion. They showed forth great courage as they witnessed his death, mourned and grieved for their loss, and supported His sweet mother's tragic loss as well. They continued to stay by Him as they prepared Him for burial, saw the sepulcher, as his body was laid to rest.
It would have made more sense to get as far away from Jesus as possible, yet they chose to stay. These same women were the first at the sepulcher to bear witness that Jesus was no longer in the tomb, and ran to tell others of these things. Mary of Magdalene was the first to witness the resurrected Lord. After all they had been through, through all the heartache, the fear, the trials, they lingered near. Why? I believe that the miracles they witnessed were grander than any of the pain. I believe they knew in their hearts that Jesus was the Christ and no matter what the trials seemed to be, no matter the war that raged around them, Christ would overcome it all.
This Easter, as I think about the trials of life and the trials that come from making the right choices, (even when the right choices are not popular) I am going to remember the women of the New Testament. During the trials I see His triumph in my life. I want to be like these faithful disciples and stay close to Him, no matter the cost. Scholars say that the Savior was crucified on Friday and resurrected on Sunday, so In reference to the time between the crucifixion and the resurrection the Christian author Max Lucado asks: “When it’s Saturday in your life, how do you react? When you are somewhere between yesterday’s tragedy and tomorrow’s triumph, what do you do? Do you leave God-or do you linger near him?” I want to linger near my Savior. I choose to stay close to Christ. He is the way and the truth and the light. No fear, no evil, no trial is too big for me and my Lord. I invite each of you to stay close to Jesus this Easter and always. Be as brave and courageous as the women of Galilee.