The little known yet immortalised women of Jerusalem

By Maureen Seneviratne

The women of Jerusalem will remain anonymous but, immortal, etched in time, never to be erased from human memory as long as the Passion and death of Jesus Christ is told and retold till the end of the world.

Who were these women? We know so little but can surmise a great deal. Some or all of them may have heard Jesus preach. They may have been among those he fed when he performed the great miracle of feeding thousands with bread and a few fishes. Could some have been present at the marriage feast of Cana? They must have been served the good wine when he worked his first miracle; turning water into wine.

Their children may have been the ones he pointed to saying, we should become as little children innocent and good, to enter into His kingdom. Their children were embraced by the Lord and leaned against His knee fearfully. The women of Jerusalem must have watched as He walked up the path to Calvary outside the city walls where felons were crucified by the Romans who ruled Palestine. It was the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate who sentenced Jesus to death. Were they hovering outside the prefect’s gate and walls to get a glimpse of Jesus? Women are automatically curious but this was more than curiosity. There was fear and dread and later sorrow.

Jesus knew they were in that grisly train and He knew they were weeping. As they clutched around he said to them, “weep not for me but for your children” and “children” meant all mankind. He was redeeming them, all people of all time but sinful persons would continue to sin. They would lie and cheat, immorality would flourish , murder would be done. But repentance was possible and the heavy price of sin was paid on Calvary. This must have alarmed the women. But it also made them understand why Jesus had come into the world, spent those years preaching, teaching, performing miracles that astounded witnesses and terrified the Jewish clergy.

Some of the worst miscreants shouted at Him as He hung dying on the cross. “You saved others, now save yourself! Come down from the cross!” they jeered. But that was not the Divine Plan. Jesus, at Calvary, would die on the cross, would be entombed and on the third day would rise from the dead. The Romans made sure He was dead, plunging a sword into His side from which flowed blood and water. They flocked to a cave which was His burial site with eagerness and sealed it very carefully with a large and heavy stone and placed guards at the entrance to ensure He would not be spirited away by his friends who would say He had resurrected from the dead.

There is the testimony of many who saw Him on Easter Sunday. He sat and ate a meal with His Apostles. He told doubting Thomas to touch His palms and feel the scars of the nails and put His hand into His side where the soldiers had gored Him with a spear.

The women of Jerusalem must have seen much of all this and must have dramatically changed their lives. We call them; His disciples and the earliest Christians along with the Apostles, Mary, His mother and Mary Magdalene who also loved Jesus and whom Jesus loved. So few; when in the world today there are billions of Christians.

It would be good for us and and not only during Passion Tide, to emulate the women of Jerusalem with their great, implacable faith and their courage ; which took them, in s pite of risks to the foot of the Cross at Calvary on which He died for our sins.

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