I’ve heard apologists point to Mary at the empty tomb as evidence of the truthfulness of the Gospels. A woman’s testimony was inadmissible as a witness, so, if you were making up this story, you wouldn’t want to write that a woman was the one to see Jesus first.
But long before anyone was writing this story down, God was threading it together. And He chose Mary to be the one that day. Think about that for a second.
The disciples were there that morning. Peter and John ran to see the empty tomb with Mary. It would have been no big deal for Jesus to appear to all three of them. But God chose to wait and let the guys go home before the big reveal. Risen Christ – visible to Mary, all alone – and then He sent her to be the one to tell the others.
Sure, He’d appear to them later that evening, and they’d get to see Him for themselves, but for one whole day – they were either living in despair or in the most glorious new reality to ever be experienced – and God set it up so that would be determined by whether or not they would believe a woman.
A whole day of resurrection – the first-ever Easter. He offered them the good news, but only if they could trust the word of a woman. Not just listen to her. Not just make her ‘feel heard.’ But take her word in a situation that was beyond life or death important.
I am sort of obsessed with our God.
Women are often not believed today. It’s a legacy of thousands of years of having our words literally hold less weight in the systems around us. And God stepped into that – just a hair ahead of His time – two thousand years ago when it was more counter-cultural than we can now imagine.
I know what it’s like to not be believed. I know what it’s like for your account – of your own life – to be considered inadmissible. For your words to be given in vulnerability and grace – to be received, nodded at, and then fall, weight-less to the floor as if they’d never been handed over. I know what it’s like for someone to lean in and say – without hesitation or shame – that it makes sense that they wouldn’t believe you when you talk. After all, hasn’t God declared that your heart is deceitful above all else?
Women – God is not one of the men who doesn’t hear you when you speak. And He is not one of the bystanders, explaining why it makes sense that people don’t believe you when you share your experiences.
Women – He gave us Easter Sunday. And not just us – He gave it to all those who would be willing to listen to our words. He gave us the weightiest words that will ever be. And to all who would believe us – He gave the good news of the resurrected Christ.