John 20:1-18; 2 Chronicles 31; Psalm 87
There is no historical incident that has made a greater impact on the world than the resurrection. The world was changed that day when Jesus rose from the dead. Cowering disciples became bold apostles sharing the message of Jesus and His resurrection. They stayed firm in their belief in the face of all kinds of threats, even being willing to die rather than recant their stories of the resurrection. The funny thing is that it all began in the garden with a woman. Mary went to the tomb to finish putting the burial spices on Jesus. When she got there, the stone had already been rolled away and the tomb was empty. She ran back and told the disciples. They came and checked out the tomb and realized that the body of Jesus really was missing. They didn’t understand what had happened yet, so they both went back home. Then, Mary really started crying. That’s when it all started. “Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?’ She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, ‘Sir, if You have 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, “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher).” (John 20:14-16) The birth of Jesus was first announced to a woman. His resurrection also was first announced to a woman. Women were not held in high regard during these times. Their testimony would not be accepted unless confirmed by others. Yet God reminded the disciples and the world of the importance of women by revealing the birth and resurrection of Jesus through women. Even today, while we pay lip service to the importance of women, especially in the church, we don’t always show that we believe that women are to be treated equally. The gospel of Jesus Christ is given for all people equally. No one person is more important or less important than anyone else. That is true no matter what the gender, the skin color, the location or any of the other artificial divisions we seek to impose on people. The call of Jesus Christ to Christians is to love one another and to show the world the good news of Jesus Christ in all that we do. We need to see and treat other people the way Jesus did. He loved us all equally; we can do nothing else.
Lord, remind me how much You loved all people. Give me the strength to love others as You loved them. Let the love that I show touch the hearts and minds of those who don’t know You yet and draw them to You.