New Computer Smell

blogging5

After months of angst and denial I have finally accepted the inevitable – The end of a nine-year love/hate relationship with my nine-year-old computer. This computer was out-of-date and extremely unreliable, but would I be able to master a new computer with WINDOW 10? Friends would say, “Why wouldn’t you?” The Deacons of my church, two very good friends and my sister and brother-in-law offered financial assistance. With the encouragement of friends and family, I asked a friend who knew about computers to find one to meet my specific needs [a computer that would support Google Chrome]. My friend found one and arrived arrived at my house a few days later, with a new tower and keyboard. When I saw the box, I knew there was no turning back. My Christian brother also found the computer for a very reasonable price and one I could afford.

hummer

Seeing my Christian brother’s enthusiasm in using his expertise to set up the computer for me was very reassuring and comforting to my semi-literate computer brain. What also encouraged me was the fresh “NEW Commuter Smell” and the smooth clean feel of the new keyboard. I imagine it’s somewhat like buying a new car and experiencing the “NEW Car Smell” and sitting on the new cool smooth upholstery.

As my friend worked with me and explained what I needed to know about WINDOWS 10, I was reminded of two Scriptures:

But thanks to God, who in Christ always leads a triumphant procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere” [II Corinthians 2:14].

And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” [Ephesians 5:2].

Jesus and Charlie Brown

My Christian brother is an example of Christ to me. He wanted to help me find and set up a NEW computer that would meet my needs. In addition, he took the time to teach me what I needed to know. It is so encouraging and comforting to know Christians like him. I have seen, through the media, stories about “Evangelical Christians” who are filled with hate, who do not love their neighbors or foreigners or the poor and destitute in the same way they love themselves. Instead, they are self-centered and greedy, and always thinking, “What’s in it for me?” These “Evangelical Christians” are not “the fragrance of Christ.” They are just the opposite. They are the stench of hate and death.

God is LOVE

My Christian brother doesn’t want anyone to know about his “good deed,” nor does he want to be paid for his time. He said he would rather wait for his reward in heaven. That will be easy to do, because a person helping someone who is somewhat techno-phobic with setting up a NEW Computer may not be as newsworthy as a large group picketing with hateful signs and shouting bigoted slurs. But to God, his “good deed” is                                                                            written in the Book of Life.

Why can’t all Christians smell like my Christian brother, who exudes the fragrance of Christ? II Corinthians 5:17 teaches:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a NEW creation. The old has past; behold, the NEW has come.”

COMMAND LOVE

My Christian brother and many others I know who identify themselves as “Christians” are NEW Creations. They have the NEW Creation smell. They radiate the fragrance of Christ to all who need His help and love. Thanks to all who have been Christ to me when I needed to be reminded of His love and care for me. I am very grateful for I am truly                                                                            blessed.

                                                Love in Christ,

The Lyd

                                                         Lydia

The Women in Jesus’ Life, Death and Resurrection [Conclusion]

interwoven gospels

What really did happen when Jesus rose from the dead? In reading each of the four Gospels I find each one having different events happening. There are omissions or additions in the each Gospels. Could it be that I need to read all four Gospels as one “complete story” and put the events in chronological order to find the Truth? A theologian named Ken Wallace [from Missions Door Ministries] did just that. His paper helped me have a greater understanding of the events surrounding Jesus’ Resurrection and the important role His women disciples played in proclaiming, “Jesus has risen just as He said” [Matthew 28:6], as the angels told them. Here is what Ken Wallace wrote [*my own 2 cents]:

TWO ANGELS IN TOMBangels and women at empty tomb

HOW MANY ANGELS?
There were two angels but one of them must have had a dominant role so sometimes only he was mentioned.

HOW MANY WOMEN?
At least five went to the tomb — Mary Magdalene was among them.
– At least two told Peter and John [in Jerusalem] — Mary Magdalene was among them.
– At least two went to Bethany to tell the other disciples.
– Mary Magdalene may have been alone at the tomb after Peter and John left.

Ken Wallace answers more questions by putting the events surrounding the Resurrection of Jesus Christ in chronological order:

chronology

CHRONOLOGY

1. Five women arrive at the tomb [Mt. 28:1, Mk. 16:2-3, Luke 24:1, Jn.20:1]
Matthew 28:2-4 is a description of what the guards witnessed before the women arrived and introduces the angel: [v.2] There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. [v.3] His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. [v.4] The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. [v.4]
2. They see the stone has moved [Mk.16:4, Lk24:2, Jn.20:1-2]
3. They go inside and see that Jesus’ body is not there [Mk.16:5, Lk24:3]
4. The angels talk to them [Mt. 28:5, Mk. 16:6, Lk24:4-8]
Luke 24:9-12 combines the narrative of both groups of women [*disciples] and both groups of [*men] disciples into one story. It is not strictly chronological as the other narratives are.
5. They split into two groups to tell the disciples [Mt. 28:8, Mk. 16:8]
6. Mary Magdalene runs to tell Peter and John [Mt. 28:8, Lk.24:9-10, Jn.20:2]
7. Peter and John run to the tomb [Lk.24:12 and 24, Jn.20:3-4]
8. Mary Magdalene follows them to the tomb [*Otherwise John 20:11-18 wouldn’t have happened]
9. They go into the tomb [John 20:5-8]
10. They see and believe it’s empty [but not that Jesus rose] [Lk.24:24, Jn.20:9]
11. Peter and John go to Bethany [Lk.24:12, Jn.20:10]
12. Mary Magdalene weeps at the tomb [Jn.20:11]
13. The angels talk to her again [Jn.20:11]
14. Jesus appears to her [Mk.16:9, Jn.20:15-17]
15. She goes to Bethany to tell the [*men] disciples she saw Jesus [Mk.16:10]
16. Meanwhile, Jesus appears to the other women [Mt.28:9-10]
17. They arrive in Bethany and tell the [*men] disciples they saw Jesus [Lk.24:9-10]
18. The [*men] disciples don’t believe the women [Lk.24:11]
19. Mary Magdalene arrives in Bethany and tells them she saw Jesus [Lk.24:9-10, Jn.20:18]
20. They don’t believe her either [Lk.24:11]

[To be able to read Ken Wallace’ complete paper Google, “The women at the Empty Tomb,” then click “The Women at the Empty Tomb —– North Forest.]

JESUS APPEARS TO DISCIPLES The four Gospels [Matthew, Mark, Luke, John] do not end with the men disciples disbelieving the women disciples’ testimony that Jesus rose from the dead. The men disciples eventually believed that Jesus did rise from the dead when Jesus appeared to them in the flesh [Mt.28:16-20; Mk.16:12-20; Lk.24:36-49; Jn.20:19-29 and 21:1-14]. In Mark [16:14] Jesus “rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart,” because they had not believed those who saw Him after He had risen. They did not believe Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Salome, Mary the mother of James, Mary the mother of Joses and other women who witnessed that Jesus was alive again. They also didn’t believe two men disciples [Mk.16:12-13]. Out of the core disciples, Thomas was the last to believe, because he was not with the rest of the disciples when Jesus first appeared to them. Thomas said, “Unless I see in His hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into His side, I will not believe” [Jn.20:25]. He did not believe his fellow disciples that Jesus was alive. But Thomas did not stay an unbeliever.

jESUS AND THOMAS

“Eight days later, His disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the door was locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ Then He said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here, and see My hands; and put out your hand, and place it in My side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.’ Thomas answered Him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen Me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” [John 20:24-29].

women at foot of the cross

Why did Jesus appear to His women disciples first? A woman’s testimony was not usually believed during Jesus time on earth. Women could not be witnesses in court. Even their brothers in the Faith did not believe what their sisters in the Faith told them about Jesus being alive. The women’s “words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them” [John 24:11]. Jesus knew these women more than anyone else

Magdenlena

knew them. Jesus knew His women disciples as His self-sacrificing servants, His loyal students to His teachings, His compassionate caregivers, and the ones who would persevere to the end and beyond. The women disciples went to Jesus tomb, where He had been laid and Jesus valued their love for Him and their courage to be where His body was laid. Of course they would see their risen Lord first, because they went to see Him to serve Him one last time, only to be served by Him instead. On the other hand, the men were hiding in a locked room fearing what would happen to them. While the women went to Jesus, it was Jesus who went to the men.

men and women disciples

Again, my purpose is not to belittle the men disciples and raise up the women disciples. My goal is to show that both the first men and women disciples were equally important in spreading the GOOD NEWS of Jesus Christ to the world. Most of the time the women disciples were in the background. But, when Jesus was dying on cross the women, mentioned throughout this blog series, were there and experience His heart-wrenching death and glorious Resurrection. Instead of being in the background, when they were most needed the women disciples were in the forefront. We should not forget about the women disciples. They encouraged their brother disciples to believe “JESUS HAS RISEN! HE HAS RISEN INDEED!” And they encourage us today, through their actions and testimonies in the Scriptures, to believe in Jesus and His Resurrection. Do you believe? “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” [John 20:29].

Jesus is alive

In this blog series, “The Women in Jesus’ Life, Death and Resurrection,” I have attempted to encourage my readers to look at a small group of Jesus’ women disciples and how important they were in serving Jesus, in encouraging His men disciples to believe He was alive, and in continuing to encourage us to believe without seeing, but by faith that JESUS IS ALIVE! I tried to answer some of the questions people may have concerning the four Gospel accounts of the Resurrection being so different from each other, by using a paper written by Ken Wallace. Some questions are answered and some were not. However, God has all the answers and I have faith in Him. I do not have to have all my questions answered to believe in Jesus and His Word. In fact, how can any mortal man or woman know and comprehend all that God knows?

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” [Hebrews 11:1].

THE END [for now]

cHRISTIAN BLOGGER WOMANIMG_1951

Lydia

I am taking a break from blogging. If you would like to read any of my previous blog post click on my blog address at the bottom of this page.

The Women in Jesus’ Life, Death and Resurrection [Part VI]

men and women disciples

“What am I – CHOPPED LIVER?” This is the question I first asked concerning Jesus’ women disciples. In other words, “Were Jesus’ women disciples less important and less valued than the men disciples?” The last five blog posts tell my readers that I believe women disciples were as important and equally valued in Jesus’ eyes as the men disciples. Someone once said, “God first created man. Then, God had a better idea and created woman.” I want all my readers to know, that this is not what I want to convey. I believe men and women are equal in God’s sight and both are used by Him to do mighty things. “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female He created them” [Genesis 1:27]. My reason for writing about the women disciples is they are sometimes skipped over. “More important topics” are discussed such as, how the men disciples disserted Jesus when He was arrested and ordered to be crucified. I believe it is also important to examine the women disciples’ unwavering love and commitment to their beloved Teacher, especially at His crucifixion and burial. If we skip over talking about “The Women in Jesus’ Life, Death and Resurrection” we are missing out on important lessons Jesus wants to teach us and emulate.

women caring for Jesus' needs

According to the Gospels, women followed Jesus during His ministry on earth and cared for His needs, as well as His men disciples “out of their own means” [Luke Luke 8:3b]. They teach us about sacrificial service and giving. I believe the women, along with the men shared in “proclaiming and bringing the GOOD NEWS of the kingdom of God” [Luke 8:1b]. Women were at his crucifixion and watched Jesus die an unconscionable and horrifying death, recorded in all four Gospels [See Part II]. I believe the women were at Jesus’ crucifixion because they didn’t want Jesus to die alone, with only His enemies surrounding Him. The women also wanted to know where His body was taken, so that they would be able to make sure He was buried properly [See Part III]. On the day after the Sabbath, the women went to the tomb to anoint Jesus’ dead body, only to find the tomb empty. The women were the first to see their Resurrected Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. They were the first to tell the men disciples the GOOD NEWS – “JESUS HAS RISEN!” [See PART IV]. In John’s Gospel account of the Resurrection, John focused on one woman, Mary Magdalene, who was crying because she thought someone had stolen Jesus’ body. In her sorrow, Mary could not leave the grave. I believe she was waiting for something to happen, but she didn’t know what. It was her faith that made her wait, and her faith was rewarded. She was the first to hear her name “Mary” by her Risen Lord [Read Part V].

Christ's Power Sprit

How is it possible for the most important story for all of humanity to grasp [the Resurrection Jesus Christ] can be so confusing and create so many questions for believers and non-believers alike? All four Gospels record the events surrounding the Resurrection. Christians believe that the Holy Spirit used each Gospel writer’s personality and experiences to present the Resurrection in their own unique way and they are okay with that explanation. They believe that Jesus did rise from the dead, and this is what Christianity stands on. Not being clear of the number of women and angels at the tomb does not take away from “the Gospel Truth”: JESUS HAS RISEN! However, it is important to take the questions of non-believers [and some Christians] seriously. I believe it is harmful to deny there are absolutely no differences in the four Gospels [Non-believer may use the word “contradictions“].

confused

“Why is the number of women going to the tomb different in each Gospel account – two in Matthew, three in Mark, three or more in Luke and only one in John?” “How many angels really were there at the empty tomb – one in Matthew and Mark or two in Luke? Did the women go tell the disciples Jesus was alive as in Matthew and Luke and John or were they too frightened to say a word to anyone as in Mark? What about the earthquake? Did Mary Magdalene see Jesus alive first or a group of women?

facts

After much study, have answered these questions. Instead of trying to “re-invent the wheel,” I want to share information from a Bible Scholar who is much more capable than I am in these matters. In Ken Wallace’s article, “The Women at the Empty Tomb,” originally written in 1999, revised in 2011, and later copywrited in 2016, [www.north forest.org/ChristianApologetics/womenattomb.html] Wallace uses all four Gospels to answer the such questions as above and also puts the events of the Resurrection in chronological order. A skeptic may always be skeptical, but it’s worth a try to share this information with those who have questions concerning the Resurrection account found in the Gospels. It may become a valuable discussion.

To be continued…

becket pics4

Lydia

The Women in Jesus’ Life, Death and Resurrection [Part V]

sealed tomb

What does John, “the disciple whom Jesus loved” [John 20:2b], have to say about the women at the empty tomb and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ? Does John put all the information found in the Synoptic Gospels [Matthew, Mark, Luke] together in a neat chronological ordered package, since John wrote his Gospel last [around A.D. 85]? It would be nice to wrap this up in a box tied up with ribbons and bows, wouldn’t it? However, just as the three previous Gospels, John presents his narrative with his own observations, sharing his unique insights and focusing on what he believed was important to emphasize. It is true that “All Scripture is inspired by God” [II Timothy 3:16a]. It’s also true that the Holy Spirit used the unique personality of each Gospel writer to relay different perspectives concerning the women at the empty tomb and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

mary magdalene with candle

jesus has risen

Let’s examine what John’s Gospel says in chapter 20:1-10. The narrative starts just like the other three Gospels: “Now on the first day of the week….while it was dark” However, Mary Magdalene is the only woman mentioned who goes to the tomb and sees the humungous stone rolled away from the entrance. Instantly [or so it seems], Mary Magdalene runs to Peter and John to tell them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb and WE do not know where they have laid Him.” [The pronoun “WE” indicates that Mary Magdalene was accompanied or was met by other women going to Jesus’ tomb.]

john and peter running

Next, Peter and John have a foot race to the tomb and Mary Magdalene follows. Peter was first to enter the empty tomb and saw “the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place of its own.” [It was the custom in those days for the master who is leaving his dinner but intends to return, to leave his napkin folded at his place, so that his servant would know that he was returning. When he was finished with his meal the master would just drop the napkin unfolded at his place. In the same way, the folded face cloth was a sign that Jesus was not finished because HE ROSE FROM THE DEAD!] After awhile John, who reached the tomb first, but stayed outside, finally went into the tomb, “and he believed.” What did they believe? John said they believed, yet they “went back to their homes.” Their belief was not all there yet, but their belief would grow as they began to “understand the Scripture, that [Jesus] must rise from the dead.” John and Peter were beginning to believe Jesus and what He said to them was making a little more sense because of Mary Magdalene’s “WAKE-UP CALL!” Sometimes, not always, some men need a little push to get out of their “Man-Cave“ and “keep on keeping on” and who better to do this than a woman? The opposite is also true. Men and women need to work together to spread the GOOD NEWS that JESUS IS ALIVE and wants to make a difference in people’s lives.

mary and peter and john

The Gospel of John is often called, “The Gospel of Belief.” An excellent example of a growing “belief” or “faith” is found in the life of Mary Magdalene. She, along with other women disciples heard Jesus’ teachings and watched Him live them out. They also watched Him die on the cross and saw where His body was laid. Mary Magdalene was the first one to rise early in the morning to go to Jesus tomb. Other women followed her lead. She got men to follow her lead. Even when the others left for home, she lingered at the empty tomb, hoping that something would happen. She had a faith that would not die. This is what John’s Gospel records when she was alone at the empty tomb:

mary weeping

“But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ She said to them, ‘They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.’ Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?’ Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, ‘Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.’ Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?’ Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said, ‘Sir, if you know where they carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Mary.’ She turned and said to Him in Aramaic, ‘Rabboni!’ [which means Teacher]. 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.’ Mary Magdalene went to announce to the disciples, ‘I HAVE SEEN THE LORD’ – and that He said these things to her.” That very evening, what Mary Magdalene told the disciples came true – Jesus appeared to them ALIVE [John 20:11-18 and 23].

Magdenlena

Those of us who believe in Jesus as our Savior and Lord have no trouble believing in the four Gospel accounts concerning the women at the empty tomb and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. We believe that Jesus died on the cross to take care of our sins, as well as the sins of the world [Read John 3:16], and that He defeated death by RISING FROM THE DEAD AND IS ALIVE FOREVERMORE. Jesus‘ DEATH and RESURRECTION is the focus of our faith and is most important to us. In the four Gospels we also learn about the women disciples and their sacrificial service, their perseverance and endurance, their loyalty and trust, their bravery, as well as their leadership qualities. When there were no men to lead the way, women like Mary Magdalene and the other Marys and Joanna and Salome encouraged their brothers to believe that Jesus was alive. Jesus being alive made the difference and Christianity would spread all over the World.

Joyful Jesus

For the skeptics out there who read the four Gospel accounts of the Resurrection of Jesus and the women who first discovered the empty tomb, they have more questions they want answered. Do you believe in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ just as the women did or do you believe that finding out how many angels and women were there at empty tomb is essential to believing? Skeptics have so many questions. Let’s face it; skeptics are always gong to be skeptical. But those who believe in Jesus Christ will “walk by faith, not by sight” [II Corinthians 5:7]. We will trust in what the Bible says and learn important truths without worrying about “every jot and tittle.” As a woman, I have much to learn from Mary Magdalene and the other women disciples. How about you?

To be continued…

IMG_1951

Lydia

The Women in Jesus’ Life, Death and Resurrection [Part IV]

joseph of arimathea

What in the world were they thinking? Did their grief over Jesus’ death cloud their judgment? Were they acting impulsively “as women tend to do?” The women disciples in Jesus’ life were faithful and courageous followers during His life and in His death. In PART III, we left the women watching Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, both Jesus’ disciples, prepare Jesus’ body for burial with seventy-five pounds of spices and they wrapped the body with linen cloths. They placed the body in Joseph’s new tomb and rolled a giant boulder in front of the entrance [Read Mt 27:57-61, Mk. 15:42-47, Luke 23:50-56, John 19:38-42]. Didn’t Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses [See Mark 15:47] know about the amount of spices on the body? Didn’t they remember the giant stone? Two women could not roll that stone away, could they?

sealed tomb

I believe the women did not stop and think about the obstacles in the way. Instead, they focused on their goal. That goal was to do one more kindness for Jesus by going to the tomb where Jesus’ body lay and finish the burial preparations, as was the Jewish custom. Yes, Joseph and Nicodemus did prepare Jesus’ body “on the day of Preparation, that is the day before the Sabbath” [read Mark 15:42]. Because it was almost the Sabbath, when all work had to cease, these two men might have been in a hurry to get things done, in order to place Jesus in the new tomb, on the same day Jesus died, as was the custom. The women did not act impulsively. Luke 23:55-56 records, “The women who had come with Him from Galilee followed and saw the tomb and how His body was laid. Then they returned [home] and prepared spices and ointments. On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.” To these women this Sabbath rest must have felt like the longest Sabbath rest ever! But, it was worth the wait!

The women did rest on the Sabbath, but they didn’t waste any time the day after the Sabbath. All four Gospels give different details and together they paint one big picture of what happened on that awesome day!

two women

“Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary [mother of Joses] went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for He has risen as He said. Come see the place where He lay. 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…’ So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his [men] disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, ‘Greetings!’ And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me’” [Matthew 28:1-10].

The Gospel of Mark adds a few more details and has its own uniqueness:

angels and women at empty tomb

“When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the MOTHER OF JAMES, and SALOME BOUGHT SPICES, SO THAT THEY MIGHT GO AND ANOINT HIM [JESUS]. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. AND THEY SAID TO ONE ANOTHER, ‘WHO WILL ROLL AWAY THE STONE?’ And looking up, they saw the stone had been rolled back – it was very large. AND ENTERING THE TOMB, THEY SAW A YOUNG MAN SITTING ON THE RIGHT SIDE, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. And he said, ‘Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; He is not here. But go, tell His disciples and Peter that He is going to Galilee. There you will see Him, just as He told you.’ AND THEY WENT OUT AND FLED FROM THE TOMB, FOR TREMBLING AND ASTONISHMENT HAD SEIZED THEM, AND THEY SAID NOTHING TO ANYONE, FOR THEY WERE AFRAID’” [Mark 16:1-8].

There are also verses in Mark [in our Bibles] that were not in the earliest manuscripts. For instance:

Jesus with Mary

“Now when He [Jesus] rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast out seven demons. She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned and wept. But when they heard that He was alive, and had been seen by her, they would not believe it” [vv. 9-11]

TWO ANGELS IN TOMB

In Luke’s account of the Resurrection of Jesus [24:1-12], the main details are similar. On the first day of the week, the women left very early in the morning and brought spices to the tomb [v.1]. The women found the stone rolled away [v. 2] and did not find Jesus body in the tomb [v. 3]. But, instead of one angel or young man, “TWO MEN STOOD BY THEM IS DAZZLING APPAREL” [v. 4]. The two men in dazzling apparel knew the women were afraid [v. 5], so they encouraged them with these words: “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how He told you, while He was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise” [vv. 5b-7]. The women did remember and returned “to the eleven disciples and all the rest” [v. 9]. In Luke’s account of the Resurrection, he identifies the women to be Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James “and other women with them who told these things to the apostles” [v. 10]. Luke wrote that THE APOSTLES DID NOT BELIEVE THE WOMEN AND SAID THAT “THESE WORDS SEEMED TO THEM AN IDLE TALE” [v. 11]. All except PETER wanted to see for himself and “ROSE AND RAN TO THE TOMB; STOOPING AND LOOKING IN, HE SAW THE LINEN CLOTHS BY THEMSELVES; AND HE WENT HOME MARVELING AT WHAT HAD HAPPENED” [v. 12]. John’s Gospel includes John and Peter running to the tomb [Read John 20:1-10].

PETER AND JOHN

What about John and his Gospel? Surely John [“the disciple whom Jesus loved”] would be able to present the events of the Resurrection of Jesus in chronological order and also tie up loose ends; wouldn’t he? It’s important to get all the facts right, isn’t it?

To be continued…

Lydia photo
Lydia

The Women in Jesus’ Life, Death, and Resurrection [Part III]

It is finished

What did Jesus’ disciples think when Jesus shouted, “‘IT IS FINISHED,’” and He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.”? Was this the end? Did they follow Jesus in vain? Both men and women devoted their lives to following Jesus. In Part I, we saw that women followed Jesus, as did men. The women ministered to Jesus and His men disciples in sacrificial ways. The women disciples were both faithful and generous servants and devoted and courageous followers of Jesus.

Book of Luke

“Soon afterwards He [Jesus] went on through the cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve [men disciples] were with Him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager, and Suzanna, and many others, who provided for them [or                                                                      Him] out of their means” [Luke 8:1-3].

women at foot of the cross

The women not only followed Jesus during His ministry on earth. We discovered in Part II that there are many Gospel passages mentioning Jesus’ women disciples witnessing His death on the cross. Mary Magdalene is mentioned throughout these Gospel passages, along with the other women who followed Jesus to His crucifixion. [Matthew 27:56-61; 28:1; Mark 15:40-47; 16:1-19; Luke 8:1-3; 24:1-12; John 19:25; 20:1-18].

In the above Scripture references, we find Mary Magdalene at the foot of the cross, along with Mary the mother of James and Joseph, the mother of the sons of Zebedee, Mary the mother of Jose, Salome, Mary the mother of Jesus and His mother’s sister [just to name a few]. These women followed Jesus to a hill called Calvary, also known as Golgotha or “Place of the Skull,” where He was nailed to the cross and hung on that cross dying. Most of the men disciples were hiding, except for Peter and John, “the disciple whom [Jesus] loved” [John 18:15-18, 25-26 and 19:25-27].

Jesus body in tomb

After three long hours nailed to the cross, Jesus exclaimed, “IT IS FINISHED!” and then He beathe His  last.. What was next? The disciples would later learn what “IT IS FINISHED” really meant. First, they needed to take care of Jesus’ body.

“When evening came, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away. Mary Mgdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb” [Matthew 27:57-61].

glasses on Bible

Mark identifies the other Mary as “Mary the mother of Joses” [15:47]. Luke thought it was important to record, “The women who had come with Him from Galilee followed and saw the tomb and how the body was laid. Then they returned and prepared spices and ointments. On the Sabbath they rested, according to the commandment” [23:55-56]. John adds, “Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight” [19:39].

Empty tomb

These disciples, both men and women, wanted to make sure the body of Jesus was laid to rest properly. The women made sure they knew where Jesus’ body was laid, so they would be able to go back after the Sabbath rest, to anoint the body with more spices. I believe they thought it would be the final time they would be able to minister to their Lord. Because the women wanted to minister to Jesus’ body for the last time, not with food but with spices, they were the first disciples to learn what Jesus meant when he said “IT IS FINISHED!”

Christ's cross defeated devil

Many times when we go to minister to others, we are also blessed.

To be continued…

My Good Side

Lydia

The Women in Jesus’ Life, Death and Rsurrection [Part II]

Crhist Synogogue Ruler

Many disciples who followed Jesus during His ministry on earth were women. We saw evidence of this in PART I, using only one short Gospel passage in Luke. The women disciples ministered to Jesus and His men disciples in sacrificial ways. The women disciples were both faithful and generous servants and devoted and courageous followers of Jesus.

“Soon afterwards He [Jesus] went on through the cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve [men disciples] were with Him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager, and Suzanna, and many others, who provided for them [or Him] out of their means” [Luke 8:1-3].

cross, crown, nails

Along with following Jesus during His life, there are many Gospel passages that mention Jesus’ women disciples witnessing His death on the cross. Mary Magdalene is mentioned throughout these Gospel passages, along with the other women who followed Jesus to His crucifixion. [Matthew 27:56-61; 28:1; Mark 15:40-47; 16:1-19; Luke 8:1-3; 24:1-12; John 19:25; 20:1-18].

In the above Scripture references, we find Mary Magdalene at the foot of the cross, along with Mary the mother of James and Joseph, the mother of the sons of Zebedee, Mary the mother of Jose, Salome, Mary the mother of Jesus and His mother’s sister [just to name a few]. These women followed Jesus to a hill called Calvary, also known as Golgotha or “Place of the Skull,” where He was nailed to the cross and hung on that cross dying. Most of the men disciples were hiding, except for Peter and John, “the disciple whom [Jesus] loved” [John 18:15-18, 25-26 and 19:25-27].

Christ CrucifiedChrist's burial

Why did these women follow Jesus to the cross to watch Him die? They couldn’t do anything to stop His execution. I believe they did not want Jesus to die alone, surrounded by those who hated Him. The women disciples loved Jesus so much that they wanted to be with Him during His darkest hours. I am sure they were afraid for their own lives, but they loved Jesus more than their fears. Also, I believe they wanted to make sure their beloved Teacher’s body had a proper place to rest in peace.

mary and john

The women’s courageous love for Jesus did not go unnoticed by Him, even as He hung on the cross in excruciating agony. Jesus saw His mother Mary and wanted her to be cared for. John 19:26-27 records, “When Jesus saw His mother and the disciple whom Jesus loved [John] standing nearby, He said to His mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son [meaning John]!’ Then He said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother!’ And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.” Jesus loved His mother Mary who believed in Him from the beginning. One need only read her “Magnificat” in Luke 1:46-55 to understand Mary’s devotion and joy in her Son. In verse 47 she sings, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior…” Mary knew she needed her Son to be her Savior.

women at foot of the cross

Jesus did not only see Mary His mother. He also noticed the unconditional and sacrificial love of Mary Magdalene and the other Marys, Joanna, Suzanna and many other women disciples; all of whom were healed by Jesus from their brokenness and given new meaning to their lives. Showing compassion and kindness and love to Jesus and to others in His Name is always noticed and rewarded by Jesus. I wonder if that is one of the reasons why some of the same women were the first to find His Empty Tomb.

To be continued…

Lydia photo

Lydia

Present day disciples may serve Jesus by following one of His teachings: “Truly, I say to you, as you did it [given] to one of the least of these My brothers and sister [the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the prisoner], you did it [served] Me” [Luke 25:40b].