In Luke 23:44-49, as Jesus is dying on the cross, both “all his acquaintances” and “the women who had followed him” were there for his death.
In the following verses, after Joseph of Arimathea buried Jesus’ body, only women are mentioned as being present. (Luke 23:50-56)
At the Resurrection, it is the women who find the empty tomb. (Luke 24:1-7)
It is the women who take the good news for the very first time ever back to his disciples, but when they shared the good news with them, the “words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them”. (Luke 24:11)
It was the women Jesus turned to as he walked up to the hill of Golgotha, tenderly calling them daughters. (Luke 23:27-31)
It was the women, treated as nothing more than an ornament of society, that faithfully walked with Jesus from beginning to end.
And when they delivered the good news for the very first time ever, it was Peter, the one who denied Jesus 3 times but then wept bitterly about it, who ran to see the empty tomb and marveled all the way home about what had happened. (Luke 22:61-62, 24:12) The least expected of them all. Freshly grieved over his denial of knowing Jesus Christ.
Luke 24:22-26 shows us that it was the women who had faith to believe Jesus was alive as he had said he would be even when they did not see him in the flesh. They saw evidence of him and “remembered his words” (Luke 24:8) that the apostles so quickly forgot.
I don’t think it’s ironic that the least expected of all people groups carried the gospel to the most expected, and the very least expected individual among them was the only one who immediately responded in faith and believed. This isn’t a radical statement of feminism – it is a purely factual and undeniable account of what happened. It is a glimpse into the heart of God, gently choosing to nod His head and acknowledge those who were the ones that would’ve never otherwise been acknowledged, because they were the faithful and consistent ones that kept showing up and believing. They were the ones who remembered what he said and really believed that he was going to do it.
They remembered and they believed.
Peter wept in repentance and he marveled.
May we remember the power of the gospel this Easter season and believe it to be enough for every situation we face in this life.
May we weep in repentance and marvel.
May we not be so caught up in what we can’t see about God that we entirely neglect what we know about Him – diminishing the power of the gospel in our own lives.
May our hearts walk away with the knowledge of an empty tomb, eagerly carrying the good news to all who are willing to listen.