A New Life for Women in the Bible

Mar 19, 2018

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Easter is quickly approaching! When Jesus began His ministry here on earth, Israel was a patriarchal society that largely overlooked women. But Jesus, in the midst of teaching radical ideas like “love your enemies,” personally invested in the women around Him.

The results? They understood who He was. They saw their worth in His eyes. They devoted their lives to following Him. And, despite the emotional toll, some of the women were present throughout His trial, crucifixion, and burial. Let’s take a look at a few of their stories.

The Woman at the Well

The Samaritan woman was shocked when Jesus, a Jew, even acknowledged her presence. I love how Jesus had such a beautiful ulterior motive, using a simple drink of water to describe eternal life and draw her into conversation. He made her thirst for living water before revealing that He knew her deepest, darkest secrets – and lovingly accepted her as she was. She excitedly told other Samaritans that Messiah had come, and many believed and sought out Jesus for themselves.

We all have deep, dark secrets that we would prefer to keep hidden. But Christ already knows all of them. Maybe initially that’s disheartening, even embarrassing, to think about. But you know what? It doesn’t impact His love for us at all. Not only that, but He offers us freedom from those sins and situations from the past that occasionally haunt us. He offers us new life in Him.

Mary of Bethany

Mary of Bethany, along with her sister Martha, begged Jesus to come heal their brother Lazarus. But Jesus didn’t arrive until it was too late. Martha went out to greet Him, but Mary stayed inside, far away from the Person who had let her down. When Jesus called for her, Mary blamed Him for Lazarus’s death before dissolving into tears. Jesus felt troubled and wept over the loss of his friend. Then, He raised Lazarus from the dead, and Mary believed. From then on, she put Christ first. She spent time with Christ instead of doing things for Him with Martha. She anointed Him with a pound* of spikenard, a costly perfume equivalent to about one year’s wages. Her actions showed that her heart was right where it belonged – with her Savior.

To be honest, Mary of Bethany kind of annoys me, but it’s because I know I need to learn from her. I’m much more like practical Martha. It comes much more naturally to me to serve than it is for me to be still in the presence of my Savior (picture a toddler trying to focus – that’s me). But – it’s the better choice. Always. In fact, if I haven’t spent time with God, I probably have no business serving others in His name. Jesus is the center of our faith and the reason we have hope of a new life in Him.

Mary Magdalene

I can’t even imagine the constant torment of Mary Magdalene’s every day existence. To be possessed by seven demons controlling my every movement against my will? That sounds like a terrible life. But Jesus chose to heal her, both physically and spiritually.

So often the gratitude we feel toward people or God can be fleeting. We are thankful in the moment, but once that moment is gone, we become forgetful. On accident, of course, but forgetful nevertheless. Mary Magdalene’s gratitude was genuine. Lifelong. Christ had changed her life so dramatically that where He went, she went. She found new life in Him.

Read what Mary Magdalene might have felt like that first Easter weekend here.

“I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

As we prepare to celebrate the life, death, and resurrection of our Savior, let’s reflect on how Christ has redeemed us from our sins and given us new life.

Jessie Chamberlain
Family Radio Staff

*As a human, I’m still stuck on the “pound of spikenard.” Spikenard is an essential oil. My whole house smells delightful when I diffuse a mere eight drops of essential oils. Each 0.17 fluid ounce bottle of essential oil has 85 drops in it. There are 16 ounces in a pound. So, one pound of spikenard would be the equivalent of about 94 bottles of essential oil. That would be a very strong smell indeed. My mind can’t really comprehend it.

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