Christians around the world will reflect today on the sacrifice Christ made on our behalf as He endured the cross. It is a somber day. It is a grateful day. It is a good Friday.
As I’ve contemplated the last 40 days, I’ve considered the female followers of Jesus. What can we learn from them? How can we challenge women to be like them? Here are three things we can emulate in our own life and ministry.
1. Jesus’ female followers did not abandon Him.
Liz Curtis Higgs recently said, “Scripture has no stories of women betraying Jesus, denying Jesus, or abandoning Jesus. His female followers remained loyal.” While His closest followers, except John, scattered, Matthew 27:55-56 says, “Many women who had followed Jesus from Galilee and looked after him were there, watching from a distance. Among them were Mary, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.” As you minister to women, encourage them to remain faithful to Christ, even during hard times. Recently, I watched a faithful woman care for her dying husband. Even during her most difficult days, she never abandoned her faith. She has not given up on Jesus. May we be women who encourage others to be faithful.
2. Jesus’ female followers ministered to Him.
Luke 23 describes how Joseph from Arimathea placed the body of Jesus in the tomb, but we also find that women from Galilee followed along, observed the tomb, and prepared spices and perfumes for His burial. They not only cared for Jesus in His life, but also in His death. As a women’s leader, how do you care for others? How do you display kindness and respect and meet practical needs? Recently, I had a cousin who passed away very unexpectedly. In the midst of the family’s grief, the church in the community where she was buried offered their kindness and care. Whether we offer the ministry of presence or the ministry of a meal, we should encourage women to find practical ways of caring for others.
3. Jesus’ female followers proclaimed His resurrection.
Not only did women agonize the death of their Savior, they were the first to see the risen Christ and proclaim His resurrection. Today, we still have the great privilege of proclaiming, “He is risen,” to a lost and broken world. We are Christ’s ambassadors and messengers of the gospel. Last week, I was challenged to be more intentional about the people God places in my path. Will I be willing to initiate a conversation? Will I be willing to open my mouth and share how the cross and resurrection makes a difference in my life? As leaders, let’s never forget to challenge women to be bold in sharing their faith. Let’s be like Mary Magdalene who said in John 20:18, “I have seen the Lord.”
Kelly King is the Women’s Ministry Specialist for LifeWay Christian Resources and oversees the YOU Lead events. Join her this year and get to know her heart for ministry leaders. Follow her on Twitter @kellydking.