Can you imagine that first Easter morning?
Can you imagine the thrill and excitement experienced by the women who discovered Jesus had risen from the grave early on that first Easter morning? (Luke 24:1-12). After watching Jesus suffer and die on the cross on Friday, these women must have been heartbroken. Yet they made their way to His tomb early that Sunday morning to properly prepare His body for burial. What life lessons can we learn from them? I can think of at least three vital life lessons:
1. The women didn't hesitate to honor Jesus, despite the inherent risks to them!
(Luke 24:1). At this point, Jesus’ disciples were playing it safe, unwilling to take a risk! They were hunkered down, laying low and hiding out; but these women weren't concerned about any risks. The first chance they had, they wanted to honor Jesus by making sure that His body was properly anointed with spices.
If you had been a close follower of Jesus, what would you have been doing? Would you have been hiding out, afraid to go anywhere or would you have taken a risk for Christ’s sake? Most of us would like to believe we would take that risk, but that is easy to say until the consequences are real.
Are you willing to take any risks for Christ’s sake? Some are more concerned about playing it safe, unwilling to take any risks or make sacrifices for Christ’s sake with their time, treasures or talents. What about you?
The problem is that when we are unwilling to take a risk for Christ’s sake, we miss out on so much of what God has in store for our lives! We miss the purpose and direction He offers us; the provisions and peace He promises us; the hope and assurances He gives us. These women took a risk for Christ’s sake, and because of that, they saw something amazing!
2. The women believed the unbelievable. (Luke 24:2-8). When these women get to the grave, they fully expected Jesus to be there; but amazingly He was not there! He had risen from the grave, just as He said He would.
Some people have trouble believing. They won’t put their faith in Christ because they can’t accept the resurrection of Jesus as truth. But without the resurrection, Christianity doesn’t matter. Without the resurrection, Christianity is a useless waste of time.
14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. 1 Corinthians 15:14-15
Amazingly, all four Gospels report that the tomb of Jesus was discovered empty by women. This is very significant because in first century Israel, a woman’s testimony was not valued. Women were not allowed to testify in court, so their opinion or viewpoint was not highly regarded.
To be clear, if you wanted to make up a story about Jesus rising from the grave to persuade others, in that time, you would never use women as your primary witnesses. For those skeptical about the resurrection, the women’s testimony, as first on the scene, proves it was the truth!
When these women saw what had happened, at first they were afraid. They may have thought that someone stole Jesus’ body, but when the angels reminded them that Jesus had promised He would be crucified, and on the third day, rise again, they remembered and they believed! Do you believe? Jesus’ resurrection is central to our faith as Christ-followers!
3. The women shared their testimony without fear or reservation! (Luke 24:9-12)
These women wanted everyone to know that Jesus had risen! They went straight to Jesus’ disciples to tell them what they had seen. Initially the men didn’t believe them because what they were saying sounded like “nonsense” to them. That would be hard for anyone to believe!
I wonder if there are people in your life who don’t yet believe? Maybe for them, the idea of Jesus dying for their sins then rising again seems hard to grasp. Maybe you are reluctant to share because you think they will think it is “nonsense.”
If you are a believer, you have a powerful testimony! You can share what you know about Christ. You can share what He has done in your life, and how He is working in your life right now. You can testify to the love, peace, hope and assurance that He gives you. You can share the life-changing truth about Jesus. Like these women, will you boldly share your testimony with others?
For much more, including why the resurrection is so important and the difference it makes in your life, click here to listen to Easter Eyewitness - Part 5 - The Women.