As the calendar rips through the holy season of Easter, I camp in the landscape of it all that’s told in the gospels. In the Bible. We see male followers who gather at the table for a Last Supper, get sleepy in a Garden, and female followers who gather at the foot of the cross – until the end. That’s where we see a mix of devoted Marys.
When I was growing up in a small neighborhood in Bucks County, every other girl was named Mary. A close childhood pal named Mary Magdelena had a middle that made her name beautifully different. And her story is beautiful to reflect her name.
Mary, Mary, Mary ~ three faithful feminine followers who served and ministered to Jesus in life and death. Jesus had quite a few Marys in His neighborhood, too. These ladies among others (the faithful Susanna and Joanna) remained when others bailed, so I wanted to get to know these real women with feelings of laughter, tears, memories – and much love for a Savior.
Mary of Bethany, the worshipping sister of Martha the busy. Jesus said of her that she had “chosen the better.” With the heart of a handmaiden, she was uninhibited in her worship. A portrait of devotion poured out expensive oils to anoint His feet, wiping with her hair. John 12
Mary of Nazareth, the devoted mother of Jesus who remained from first to last breath as she endured the pain of watching her Messiah son suffer and die. In that grieving moment could she even remember what Gabriel told her when she was a young girl, what Elizabeth said about her holy unborn, what Simeon prophesied and what Anna announced. It had been a bittersweet journey for the chosen among women. Luke 1
Mary of Magdala, a controversial girl who has been misunderstood for centuries. Her Jesus was her strong hope and supernatural demon-deliverer. And she never forgot what He had done for her, following close in His shadow from that moment on. Then she knelt in the shadow of the cross on a dark Friday and a silent Saturday – and was the first to rejoice and see the risen Lord in the sunshine of Sunday morning!
She was entrusted with the greatest message of the greatest story ever told – and she told it! I have seen the Lord John 20:18.
What lesson can we learn from the ladies of Easter? These women knew what it meant to extravagantly follow the Christ they believed in – until the end.
A woman after God’s own heart remains.