As far as I can tell, physical resurrection ranks right up there with virgin birth as one of the major obstacles for thinking people who are otherwise inclined to embrace the Christian faith…I am not trying to convince anyone. How could I? Resurrection cannot be supported by reason any more than it can be supported by experience. All we have are the stories, based on the unreasonable experience of people we never knew–and the choice of whether to believe them or not. ~ Barbara Brown Taylor, Home By Another Way
“All we have are the stories.” Yours. Mine. And I believe them.
But very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. They found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. So they went in, but they didn’t find the body of Jesus. As they stood there puzzled, two men suddenly appeared to them, clothed in dazzling robes.
The women were terrified and bowed with their faces to the ground. Then the men asked, “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Remember what he told you back in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again on the third day.”
Then they remembered that he had said this. So they rushed back from the tomb to tell his eleven disciples—and everyone else—what had happened. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and several other women who told the apostles what had happened. But the story sounded like nonsense to the men, so they didn’t believe it.
Were it not for the women’s insistence on life, the story may have ended in dark grief and disbelief. They tell the resurrection story.
The same is true today.
Were it not for our presence in (and familiarity with) places of darkness, we could not so powerfully proclaim our tenacious belief that life triumphs over death. We tell and live the resurrection story.
- Women know death – of body, mind, and spirit. Still, we sing over the bones and at the grave.
- Women name what is true, tell the story, and will not be dissuaded no matter how nonsensical it may seem.
- Women know life – birthed, nursed, nurtured, healed, grieved, and restored. Resurrection, indeed.
I do not mean to say that this story (or Easter) is not about Jesus.
What I do mean to say is that women – uniquely, powerfully, inherently – know and live the miracle of the resurrection story every single day.
And make no mistake: it is hard to believe, to persevere, to continue to tell a story of life; to find and cling to continual evidence of rebirth and hope. That is, at least in part, why I am deeply grateful to the women at the tomb: they told a resurrection story even in the face of disbelief and dismissal. They clung to life no matter the evidence to the contrary.
I do the same. I can’t not. I know you do, as well.
The resurrection is a woman’s story.
Told. Lived. Believed. Happy Easter.