Many women were there, watching from a distance. Matthew 27:55
A group of women stood and witnessed the gruesome scene at Golgotha, just outside Jerusalem.
They watched Jesus refuse the narcotic-laden drink given to prisoners to deaden pain before crucifixion.
They saw the soldiers hammer nails into Jesus’ hands and then struggle to lift the wooden cross with his body on it.
They noticed the men divide up his clothes between them, gambling over his best garment.
They read the accusation against him—The King of the Jews—written out and placed above his head.
They reflected on the worst criminals crucified alongside their Lord; the man who had healed them and given them new life. He had taught about God’s Kingdom of peace and forgiveness and a time of God’s favor. He displayed power and authority in his actions: controlling nature, healing people from diseases, and performing exorcisms.
They listened as the leaders and teachers of the religious law, and other townsfolk who passed by, mocked and made fun of Jesus, shouted insults and taunted him.
They noticed Jesus bend his head and say something to his mother Mary, and to his disciple John, who stood beneath the cross.
They pulled their shawls around their shoulders as the sky became dark, for many hours. And they held onto each other when the ground violently shook.
Then Jesus shouted out: “My God, my God, why have you deserted me?” and they watched the commotion – someone scurried away and grabbed a sponge, filled it with a liquid, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink.
But it was over.
It is finished.
Jesus breathed His last and died. Matthew 27:32-50
For many days and weeks, alongside Jesus’ twelve disciples, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, Joanna, Salome and others whose names we don’t know, had accompanied Jesus around Galilee, taking care of His needs and supporting him financially out of their own means. Luke 8:1-3
They had been with the crowds, who had gladly followed Jesus in Galilee and Jerusalem, to be fed, listen to his words of wisdom and see their family and friends healed.
Now, Jesus’ flourishing leadership appeared a failure. The crowd had forsaken him, turned against him, even.
But these women remained quietly faithful.
Faithfulness means not turning your back but staying committed even when things don’t go as planned.
The women waited to show Jesus their loyalty, even in death—to prepare his body for burial as customary in the Jewish religion.
Faithfulness is greatly rewarded. Jesus said those who are faithful with small things will be given responsibility over great things.
Jesus chose these women first, over everyone else, to reveal he was alive and had defeated death. He gave them the task of telling others the wonderful news—He is risen. Luke 24:1-12
Even if you are struggling to understand events in your life, or you feel God is distant or he has let you down, know that loyalty to Jesus Christ is rewarded with greater privilege and responsibility.
We share with these women, standing at the cross, in their faithfulness; and, with them, and because of our faithfulness we will be filled with joy.