This Easter weekend we remember what Jesus did out of love for God, His Father and for us, God’s creation. This Christian poem is Part one of two Easter poems. It tells the story of the few faithful women, including Mary Magdalene, who cooked, helped and supported Jesus as He travelled through townships and villages preaching and healing and teaching His disciples. They were faithful right to the end of His life. The poem is told through the eyes of these few faithful women – what they saw, heard and felt during the last few days of Jesus’ life. Beverley Joy.
Mary grew up in thriving Magdala
A town on the banks of the Sea of Galilee
But Mary Magdalene did not thrive in life
For demons controlled her mind.
Living in a nightmare of mental illness
Haunted by evil monsters and villains
That chasted her away from life’s simple pleasures
Into dark valleys of misery and torture.
Jesus looked through her with knowing eyes
‘Mary’ He said neither afraid nor repulsed
“Leave her.” He commanded the demonic spirit
There she stood with her Saviour in her right mind.
Now at peace, like the troubled sea, Jesus once calmed
Her nightmare was finished, her new life had begun
She devoted her life to whom she owned so much
In deep gratitude for God’s mercy and love.
Mary Magdalene witnessed and listened
Stirred and surprised by Jesus’ teaching and healing
Now surrounded by friends who loved and cared
Pure joy to a woman unaccustomed to joy.
Mary followed with His disciples and other women
Who had also been cured of evil spirits and diseases
The women lived, served and supported them
As Jesus travelled through townships preaching and healing.
Mary and the women served Jesus to the end
Along His final journey to Jerusalem
Crowds no longer gathered to listen to Him
Close friends and disciples had deserted him.
Mary saw religious men thirsty for His blood
She listened as Pilate pronounced His death sentence
She felt angry at the injustice of an innocent man
She wept to see Him tortured by the soldiers of Rome.
She watched Him fall under the weight of His cross
His flesh stripped from his back from the cruel beating
As Jesus struggled to climb the hill to death
Mary watched helplessly as her Saviour bleed.
Mary stood near the cross with the other women
They heard the hammering of nails through his flesh
They watched as Jesus shunned the pain relief drink
And the soldiers laughed and gambled for his cloak.
These women who loved him listened and cried
As the religious men and people passing by
Shouted abuse and mocked “Look at you now!”
“You saved others, but you can’t save yourself.”
They listened in disgust as the criminals beside Him
Joined in the ridicule of him; except one
Who begged Him for mercy and through pain Jesus said
“Today I will see you in paradise.”
For three hours darkness fell across the land
The crowds thinned out, yet the women stayed
Then Jesus cried out in agony to God
They listened, helpless to relieve His pain.
Mary, and the other faithful women
Listened to Jesus forgive His enemies
Then cried “It is finished” and bowed His head
Then Jesus cried out and breathed his last breath.
The earth shook and the rocks split apart
The women cried their final goodbye
The soldiers, who once mocked were now terrified
Confessing “He truly was the Son of God!”
They had humbly followed Jesus
Serving selflessly behind the scenes
Right to the end under suffering and tears
With persistence and faithfulness.
The faithful women still standing by
Watched the soldiers crimple the two criminals
But even though Jesus was already dead
A soldier speared Him through His side.
Mary Magdalene, and a few of the women
Approached two unknown followers of Jesus
Who took His bloodied body down from the cross
And wrapped it in ceremonial spices and cloth.
His burial procession involved only a few
Loyal and brave followers, largely unknown
No fanfare, no crowds, no chosen ones
Two men and two Mary’s served Jesus to the end.
The place of crucifix was close to a garden
Where there was a new tomb carved out of a rock
The two men lay His body there and sealed it with stone
The two Marys watched in silence across from the tomb.
The women left and bought spices and ointments
Then they went home and prepared to anoint Him
As evening fell they planned to return on Sunday morn
To complete the anointing and say their final farewell.
To be continued…
References: Power and Passion Six characters in search of resurrection © 2007 Samuel Wells. Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Women of the Bible 2007 Ann Spangler and Jean E. Syswerda, Zondervan
All the women of the Bible Herbert Lockyer 1967 Zondervan