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Before Easter we first come to what we call, “Good Friday.” It is definitely good for us who believe on Jesus, but I doubt the women at the cross thought it was a good Friday!

Many women were there—women who had followed Jesus into Jerusalem from the Galilee, who had helped to support him and his disciples and to take care of their needs. That means they walked from Galilee to Jerusalem; there was no other way to get there. And it was up to Jerusalem—up many hills, an arduous walk which would have taken many days. Now, there they were at the cross.

As they followed Jesus to Jerusalem, they weren’t expecting to watch him die on a cross; they had much different expectations.  They anticipated Jesus being crowned the king of Israel, taking the throne of David, and saving his people from the Roman oppression. I would love to have heard their conversation as they made their way to Jerusalem, a conversation no doubt filled with hope and excitement at the prospect of their Savior, Jesus, becoming the earthly king they so wanted.

Instead they were faced with the cruel reality of a crucifixion. They must have left that terrible site discouraged, disheartened, and in great sorrow to watch their Savior die. But in a short three days, their hearts were again rejoicing as they learned that Mary Magdalene had been to the tomb, and it was empty. Indeed, she had seen the risen Christ, and could testify that Jesus was risen from the dead!

Many people try to discount the bodily resurrection of Jesus, but there is ample evidence of its authenticity. Our faith depends on it. Because Jesus conquered death, because the grave could not hold him, because he rose triumphant that first Easter, you and I can know forgiveness of our sins and be set free from the penalty and punishment we deserve.

As you celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, I hope you’ll remember the women at the cross, and see yourself there, too, because it was at the cross that the price was paid for you!