The Holy Week Devotions Day 9

Apr 9, 2023 | by Stacy Birks

“People of The Passion: Who were they? Who are we?”

So much has been written about the days of Jesus, just before he returned to be with the Father. At some level it’s hard to imagine another collection of devotions will add anything to the passion story. However, every time we approach the written word of God, we can expect His Spirit to guide us, instruct us, convict us, teach us, and give us hope, just to name a few benefits. Our prayer, as you walk the walk of Holy Week, this year, is that through the interactions between Jesus and OTHERS, you will see both His self and yourself more clearly, so that His life, death and resurrection come alive to you again (or, maybe, for the first time). Lord bless!

– Majors Rob & Stacy Birks (San Diego Kroc Center Administrators/Pastors)

Sunday April 9 (Easter)                                                                          Matthew 28:1-10

The Women

He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead…” (vv. 6-7a NIV)

Good news can be difficult to keep secret from others.  It is a natural human response when we hear something special, we just want to share it.  The women, Mary and Mary, were witnesses to the best news, and lucky for them, they were instructed by the angel guarding the tomb to not keep their mouths zipped up.  They were encouraged to share what they witnessed, and what they saw was an empty grave.  In fact, a few days later, all of the disciples who were following Jesus were told by him to let the whole world know he was not dead, but he was alive.  He instructed them to, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you…” (Matthew 28:19-20).

We can agree the discipline of a “tight lip” is important in certain situations such as keeping someone safe or keeping a surprise a secret.  Other times, staying silent is not the correct position to take.  When the good news concerns our faith in Jesus, the most important thing is to tell others he rose from the dead just as he promised. 

The angel gave permission to the women – Mary and Mary – and Jesus gave permission to his followers then and now, to tell the world he has risen from the dead.  The desire of our Lord and Savior is for all to share him with as many people as possible, telling the salvation story, offering God’s grace, spreading hope to all who will believe.

One more thing.  It’s not the most important part of the first Easter narrative, of course, but neither is it the least important part.  The first Easter evangelists – the first to tell others (men, no less) about Jesus rising from the dead – were women. In those days, counter-cultural!!!  In our context – in our Christian movement – it shouldn’t be surprising that these women were given such an awesome task, which they carried out dutifully and beautifully.  And yet… I recently attended a meeting in which The General of The Salvation Army apologized to those present for the fact that we still needed discussions about how to infiltrate our own structures, to help our over 150-year-old egalitarian stance…well...stand.  In this movement, we “Go!” – women and men – we “Go!” to tell other women and men and boys and girls of the resurrection.

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