Women were the key witnesses to the heart of the later Christian creed, for they were last at the cross, first at the tomb, first to hear the Easter message, first to see the risen Lord, first to proclaim the Easter message, and the [first to worship the resurrected Jesus].[i]
Last at the Cross:
Lk 23:45 while the sun’s light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Lk 23:46 Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last. Lk 23:47 Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent!” Lk 23:48 And all the crowds that had assembled for this spectacle, when they saw what had taken place, returned home beating their breasts. Lk 23:49 And all his acquaintances and the women who had followed him from Galilee stood at a distance watching these things.
First at the Tomb:
Lk 24:1 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. Lk 24:2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb,
Lk 24:22 Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning,
First to Hear the Easter Message:
Lk 24:4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. Lk 24:5 And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? Lk 24:6 He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, Lk 24:7 that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” Lk 24:8 And they remembered his words…
Lk 24:23 and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. Lk 24:27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
First to See Jesus:
Jn 20:16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Jn 20:17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ” Jn 20:18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.
First to Proclaim the Easter Message:
Lk 24:9 and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. Lk 24:10 Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles…
The First to Worship the Resurrected Jesus:
Mt 28:5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. Mt 28:6 He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Mt 28:7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” Mt 28:8 So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Mt 28:9 And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Mt 28:10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”
[i] Witherington, B., III. (2006). What Have They Done with Jesus?: Beyond Strange Theories and Bad History—Why We Can Trust the Bible (p. 18). New York: HarperSanFrancisco.
Published on Sunday, April 20, 2014 @ 4:51 AM CDT