By J.R. Miller
Woman's devotion and fidelity shine out very brightly in the Gospel story. There is no mention of any woman ever showing unkindness to Jesus. A man denied Him, a man betrayed Him, men plotted to destroy Him, and at last put Him on the cross. But no woman had any part in wronging Him.
There were certain women who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to Him. No doubt they were women whom He had helped in some way, and in response to His kindness they devoted themselves thenceforward, to personal service to Him. The love of these women appears conspicuously after His death. As the morning of the first day of the week began to dawn, they were eagerly on their way to the tomb of their Friend. Their purpose was to honor His body. The burial on Friday afternoon had been hurried, as the hour was late, and they wished now to lay fragrant spices in His grave. As they drew near in the dim dawn and came in sight of the tomb, they saw that the stone had been rolled away. They pressed on, and, looking in, saw that the body was not there! This greatly perplexed them. As they stood there, however, they saw a vision of angels in dazzling garments. They were awed by the vision--but as they bowed in reverence, the angels spoke to them words of assurance and comfort, "Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here--but has risen!"
One of the legends tells of the discovery of the crown of thorns and of how it lay on the altar through Passion Week. The people came and looked at it and wept, as they remembered the sufferings of Jesus. Then very early on Easter morning, the priest entered to remove the sacred relic, that the people's hearts might not be saddened by it on the glad Easter day. When he opened the door he found the place filled with a wondrous fragrance. He did not understand it--but as he moved toward the altar, the light was breaking through an eastern window, and as it fell on the crown of thorns he saw that it had been changed to a crown of roses, every thorn a rose. The legend teaches the true Easter lesson. At the broken grave of Christ--sorrow is turned to joy, death to life, darkness to light, despair to hope.