In May of 2019, the movie, Steel Magnolias will be 30 years old. In a moving scene from that flick, M’Lynn stands in front of her daughter’s casket. She tells the four women, standing with her at the graveside: “I just sat there and kept on pushing the way I always have where Shelby is concerned. I was hoping she would sit up and argue with me. Finally, we realized there was no hope. They turned off the machines. Drum left, he could not take it. Jackson left. I find it amusing, men are supposed to be made out of steel or something.”
Women stick together. I know this because I have two sisters, and my wife and I have two daughters. Do men stick together in a bond of unflinching faith, as often as some women do?
When Jesus was arrested, Matthew sadly describes what all of the disciples did: “At that point, all the disciples deserted Him and fled.” (26:56b, NLT) Even after Jesus died, while He was still on the cross, the women there did not abandon Him. Matthew continues:
“And many women who had come from Galilee with Jesus to care for Him were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary (the mother of James and Joseph), and the mother of James and John, the sons of Zebedee.” (27:55-56, NLT)
Even after the tomb was closed, the women didn’t leave. Matthew continues: “Both Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting across from the tomb and watching.” (27:61, NLT)
Mark provides details regarding what those same women did next: “Saturday evening, when the Sabbath ended, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome went out and purchased burial spices so they could anoint Jesus’s body.” (16:1, NLT) Those women did not give up. They had faith of steel.
Sunday came and very early that morning, those three women headed toward the tomb. Mark continues:
“But as they arrived, they looked up and saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled aside. When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a white robe sitting on the right side. The women were shocked, but the angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead!” (16:4-6a)
Mark tells us those women did not just walk out of the tomb, they fled. They had incredible news to share! Mary Magdalene seemed to be the spokesperson, “She went to the disciples, who were grieving and weeping, and told them what had happened. But when she told them that Jesus was alive and she had seen him, they didn’t believe her.” (Mark 16: 10-11, NLT) When I have had dark times of disbelief, it has been the women in my life, who have pointed me to the risen Christ. Who in your life do you need to direct to Jesus?
pictures courtesy of “Nelson & his Nikon”
watercolor by Nelson Haynes.