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Journey to Easter with the Women of the Resurrection - Daily Treasure - April 3

  • 2022 Apr 03

Journey to Easter with the Women of the Resurrection

Sharon W. Betters

TODAY’S TREASURE

The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written, “Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey's colt!” His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him. The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness. The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign. So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him” (John 12:12-19).

Dear Friends,

Just as we did last year, we will celebrate Easter in very different ways than in the past. One “expert” stated that “normal” worship services won’t be safe until the fall. How will God use these stretching times to draw us closer to Him as well as help us appreciate so many things we take for granted? Pastors across the world continue to use technology to preach God’s Word and keep congregations connected and cared for. As much as we all are grateful for this platform, how we long to gather with our covenant families, to raise our voices in worship to our Living God. I will never take corporate worship for granted again. Will you?

On the other hand, conflict about the coronavirus refuses to go away. More than one of my friends has said they won’t go back to church until they can go mask-free. And more than one pastor has told us that differing opinions about the response to the virus have split their churches. They are pouring hours of their time and loads of emotional energy dealing with the loudest voices and trying to reconcile the mean-spirited behavior flowing from people who claim Jesus as Savior.  Their hearts break when long-standing members leave over the issue of masks or no masks. Additionally, many church leaders fear that Christians have lost sight of the gifts of community and corporate worship and will view church attendance as optional rather than a necessary gift where the Lord meets them and many of their needs through their church family.  And what about those whose broken hearts the Lord wants to comfort through a strong church body?  I wonder how the women of the resurrection would respond to such thinking?

These women faced similar turmoil in their personal lives. Some of them were even trapped in isolation, filled with fear, unable to change their circumstances. Then Jesus. Though it became increasingly dangerous to be associated with Him, these women refused to stay away. Friends, there is more to worship than a live-streamed service. And in this broken world, there are more critical needs that require energy that too many are pouring into superficial, self-serving likes and dislikes. Jesus’s last prayer was that we would be one. He prayed for unity. Our theology compels us to die to self, gather with other Christians, meet needs within the context of corporate worship, and experience the Lord’s touch through the hearts and hands of His people. This is a time where we, too, can experience the presence of Jesus in a new way that equips and enables us to walk by faith on this journey.

Over the next few weeks, we will visit with the woman caught in adultery and then with the women named in the Gospels who stood afar off at the cross and up close to the tomb.  Then we will spend a few days reveling in the resurrection power that we experience at salvation and can experience every day of our lives. I hope each woman’s story moves you to love Jesus more and recognize the same tenderness He offered to them is ours as well.

Treasured by Him,

Sharon

LIFE-GIVING ENCOURAGEMENT

As we continue to journey to Easter, take some time to camp out in John 12. Walk with Jesus as He prepares to die on the Cross for each of His children. Keep your journal close by and note passages that jump out at you. If you don’t know where to start, watch for poignant moments where you get a new understanding of Jesus’ love by the way He interacts with His disciples, including the women.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sharon W. Betters is a mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, pastor’s wife, and cofounder of MARKINC Ministries, where she is the Director of Resource Development. Sharon is the author of several books, including Treasures of EncouragementTreasures in Darkness, and co-author with Susan Hunt of Aging with Grace. She is the co-host of the Help & Hope podcast and writes Daily Treasure, an online devotional.

For more from Daily Treasure please visit MARKINC.ORG.



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