The week after Resurrection Sunday finds non-liturgical churches back to normal. Easter has been put away. Women are silenced. Jesus is in heaven and it is business as usual. In liturgical churches, the week after Easter and leading up to the Ascension are very important times in the life of the church. Today let’s look back at the chain of events that brought us to this side of the cross and the expectation that it is not finished. Something is about to happen!
I am not sure what the Jews or the disciples expected of the Messiah, but it sure wasn’t this. Everybody is upset. One minute they are praising him, and the next minute they will be calling to crucify him.
His traveling companion and keeper of the funds is going to betray him.
Peter is going to deny him.
Around the table, they are trying to figure out which one of them Jesus is talking about when he made the startling announcement that one of them will betray him. They deny that they themselves would ever do such a thing.
Suddenly the argument escalates, and certain ones begin claiming that their love for Jesus is greater than the others.
“I’ll do anything for you! Even go to prison or be put to death!”
“You will deny me,” Jesus said.
In the garden of Gethsemane, he goes alone to pray, and when he returns to the place he had left his friends, he finds them all sleeping.
His acquaintances, and those women who accompanied him from Galilee, are standing there watching as he hangs on the cross. Then it is over. The women who had come with him out of Galilee are following as his body is taken away, and they see the tomb and how his body is being laid there. They go home and begin to prepare spices and perfumes.
The women arise at dawn on the first day of the week, and take their spices and walk to the tomb. They do not know how they are going to move the stone away from the opening, but they are going anyway.
The stone has been moved! What is happening? Suddenly two men appear! These dazzling men tell Mary Magdalene and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and the other women, that “He has risen!”
They run to tell the others, but what they are saying is not believed, because the words appear to them as nonsense, and because the words are coming from the mouth of women.
When the disciples finally see Jesus, He says to them, “It is written that the Christ should suffer and rise again from the dead the third day; and that repentance for forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high….” (Luke 22:45-24).
Forty days later, it is over. Jesus is going away again. They see him as he disappears into the sky (Acts 1:3).
They gather together and do what work needs to be done. The women cook, and they eat, and they take care of the kids, and they wait.
Something is going to happen.
Like a rushing wind, it is upon them! It is here! They feel the Spirit! (Acts 2:1-21). Peter stands up and says, “This is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: ‘And it shall be in the last days, God says, that I will pour forth of my spirit upon all mankind, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy.’”
What happened? What happened that both sons and daughters were to prophesy? And now it is only sons who can prophesy.
Something happened. The Son came out, and women were able to freely tell the Story. But something else happened also. The church put the Son under a cloud and silenced women. We wait.
(excerpt from my book Women Equal-No Buts: Powered by the same Source.