Journey to Easter with the Women of the Resurrection
Sharon W. Betters
That I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death (Philippians 3:10).
Welcome to Journey to Easter with the Women of the Resurrection. As promised last year, I’ve updated and added content to this series for 2021. Each devotional is designed to help prepare our hearts to celebrate Easter, deepen our love for Jesus and encourage each of us to experience the power of His resurrection, not only in salvation but in everyday life.
As I write, the coronavirus continues to impact our world. Chuck and I still “shelter in place” in Florida with hopes of going home by Easter. But even that plan is fluid because, in our circle of family and friends, the virus is attacking with a vengeance. 2020 and now 2021 is teaching us to hold our plans loosely and to trust the Lord to direct our steps. Many states still struggle with the best way to distribute the vaccines and those vaccinated must still take precautions. What hope do we have and what hope can we offer? There is no doubt the message from the women of the resurrection applies today. They lived in precarious times, amid upheaval, revolt, and diseases over which they had no control. Into their midst came Jesus. Jesus touched each one and they were never the same. Many responded by joining His band of disciples, not to see the show, but in response to the grace they received, to serve, to take care of physical needs out of their own funds, and I think, to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the many broken people who brought their own broken lives into His presence. They experienced resurrection power – before the physical resurrection. They have much to teach us about resurrection power in the middle of our own pandemic, fear-filled days, and chaos.
The women of Easter are the women who stood at the foot of the Cross and afar off while the Romans brutalized our Savior. Women were first at the tomb and the first to see and talk to Jesus. In the middle of a dangerous culture, they met Jesus. They traveled with Jesus. Each day brought a new understanding of this man who changed their lives. They walked with hope and confidence, transformed by His love. Imagine the joy each experienced in His presence, watching Him perform miracles, listening to His words, welcoming His unconditional love. Their personal relationship with Jesus compelled them to walk the pathway to Calvary and refuse to leave until watching their beloved friend, shepherd, and rabbi (teacher) take His last breath. No doubt they wept in one another’s arms as Jesus took on Himself the sins of His people, including mine, including yours. I wonder, what gave them the courage to stay with Jesus? Did they turn their heads or cover their eyes as their beloved friend, the very Son of God, suffered the unspeakable treatment of the Roman soldiers? Did they weep on one another’s shoulders? Can you hear their wails? Did they lose hope as the One Who brought them out of darkness slipped away? Did they question His promises, His Words? And then, after the darkness – Resurrection Day!
In this devotional series, we will walk with some of the named and unnamed women of the resurrection. We will not only envision what drew women to Jesus and why some left their homes and cared for the physical needs of Jesus and His disciples. We will contemplate the power these women experienced even before Jesus was crucified and how we can experience His resurrection power today.
Our first Easter after the fatal car accident of our son Mark and his friend Kelly poured hope into my soul. The robust worship, filled with familiar Easter hymns took me back to childhood memories of attending Sunday services in a small Orthodox Presbyterian Church where my grandmother and mother were charter members. Our family filled a row and my young siblings and I exuberantly sang the Easter hymns, though we would not understand the full meaning of the words until years later. Joy and expectation filled our hearts. God planted the words of those hymns in my childish heart, seeds of hope ready to explode out of darkness into life when my world crashed down around me. In the dark pathway of grief, those words retold the story of Christ’s resurrection power and tears ran down my cheeks as they turned my heart toward Jesus.
Let’s begin our journey to Easter with a renewed confidence that because Christ the Lord arose, we can experience resurrection power too.
Treasured by Him,
As we begin our Journey to Easter, let the words of this old hymn remind you that yes, Jesus rose from the dead on Easter Day, and He lives in each of His children today and we too can experience resurrection power every day.
I serve a risen Saviour, He's in the world today;
I know that He is living, whatever foes may say;
I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer,
And just the time I need Him, He's always near.
In all the world around me, I see His loving care,
And tho' my heart grows weary I never will despair;
I know that He is leading thro' all the stormy blast,
The day of His appearing will come at last.
Rejoice, rejoice, O Christian, lift up your voice and sing
Eternal hallelujahs to Jesus Christ the King!
The Hope of all who seek Him, the Help of all who find,
None other is so loving, so good and kind.
He lives, he lives Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me along life's narrow way.
He lives, He lives, salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart!
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 Encouragement, Treasures 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.