I had the chance to be a part of my aunt Arlene’s funeral recently. What a lady she was. She was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, and friend to so many. She and her late husband Ron were friends of my folks for 65 years. My parents met her when she was sixteen and they maintained friendship until death separated them. My dad is the only one left of the four of them.
Arlene and my mom were such healthy and helpful women. They were always available and looking to help family or friends. Both lived life well and were remembered fondly by those of us who knew and loved them dearly. They prepared their families for life by being women of faith, hard work, cultivating a cheerful attitude, and modeling to their children how to live life well as they got older and the runways of their lives shortened.
In cultures throughout history, women have played a significant role in not only raising and educating children but helping them navigate the ups and downs of life. Part of that cycle was how to handle death.
Read Luke 23:55-56 and 24:1-3.
In many cultures women have played a crucial role in preparing bodies for burial. It seems a pretty natural fit for women. They seem to want to help people at a really important time.
Consider the women who wanted to give Jesus’ body the care it deserved. They watched Him being carried away from the cross and placed in a tomb, then “prepared spices and perfumes” to anoint His body (verse 56). In their preparations, they were not going to let a large boulder obstruct their efforts. They came prepared with their supplies, hoping I presume, that someone would move the stone for them.
As Dr. Luke recorded, the rock was not a problem. It was already moved…and His body was gone. They soon discovered there was no need to care for the dead, because Jesus was alive (see Luke 24:4-6).
Those women did not start caring for Jesus only after He was dead. Their love for Him began when they first met Him, heard Him speak, and believed He was their Savior. They followed Him and cared for His needs (Mark 15:41). They had watched Him connect with crowds with His powerful words, heal the blind and lame, and later die a horrible death. Their desire to care for His body was a last act of devotion. But to their surprise they instead would see Him again. And alive!
The same Savior they saw in resurrected form is our Savior too. He is still alive. Our devotion to Him never has to end. He will never leave us as He promised.
What does the Easter mean to you? Do you believe Jesus is alive? Why or why not? What can you do to show gratitude to God for sending Jesus to earth to die on a cross?
Serve globally. The bottom line is Jesus died, but He’s alive. Come and see. Go and tell.
Love is a verb,
©2018 by Mike Olejarz