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Three Women's Devotion

Read Mark 16:1

The Gospel writers have provided us readers with lots of details about the events of Passion week. We have followed Jesus’s busy itinerary throughout the week, watching him travel in and out of Jerusalem, argue with the religious leaders in the Temple, teach his disciples on the Mount of Olives, and eat a final Passover meal with them. And then, we followed him through his trials, his flogging, and finally his crucifixion and burial.

But for Saturday, the day after Jesus died, we get one solitary detail: three women bought spices.

True, Luke 20:56 informs us that “On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.” But, the Sabbath began at sundown on Friday evening and ended at sundown on Saturday evening. It seems that once the sun went down on Saturday evening, the marketplace opened up for business, at least long enough for these three women to purchase some fragrant oils to anoint the body of Jesus.

Anointing a corpse would normally be the responsibility of the family of the deceased; the oils and perfumes used were very expensive. As far as we know, these three women were not related to Jesus; they were among his disciples, yet they show incredible eagerness to honor their crucified Lord. Even though their hopes were dashed, their desire to honor Jesus led to public sacrifice, as they purchased these oils and were going to carry them—in broad daylight—to the well-known tomb of the crucified criminal.

May the devotion of these women inspire us to sacrifice for our Lord, knowing that hope was not lost on that Friday afternoon. No, incorruptible, eternal hope was gained on that Friday afternoon!

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