I want to be a woman who will watch.
A woman who will keep my eyes fixed on Jesus as I remember His death and resurrection this week. A woman who will remember His sacrifice, made for me. A woman willling to try to understand the depth of His suffering for my healing. A woman who would have been with THE WOMEN. The women who watched…
There were women watching from a distance, among them Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of the younger James and Joses, and Salome. When Jesus was in Galilee, these women followed and served him, and had come up with him to Jerusalem. Mark 15:40-41 The Message
“Watching from a distance.” Not weeping, not speaking. Watching…as Jesus, whom they had faithfully served and cared for, was brutally crucified on the cross.
The word translated “watching” is the Greek word theoreo, which means to be a spectator of, to discern, to literally or figuratively experience, or intensively acknowledge. These women were not watching in the sense of watching a TV show or a sporting event. They watched with discernment. They watched intensely. They watched as one who tries to enter into the experience of another. And despite the horrific suffering they witnessed, so intense was their love and devotion, they could not turn their eyes away from Jesus.
But how could they watch? It had to be the most violent and horrific death ever witnessed!
Mary Magdalene watched and couldn’t bring herself to leave Jesus even after He was laid in the tomb. He had cast seven demons out of her. Imagine the torment she must have suffered until the day He set her free. She hadn’t just watched Him perform miracles—she had received one! So filled with love and gratitude, she was compelled to follow Him and serve Him wherever that would lead…even to the cross. Despite how painful and traumatic it was to watch, she had to be there.
Have you ever had to witness someone you love suffer?
I remember sitting in the Emergency Room with my ten-year-old daughter watching and wincing as the doctor put five stitches in the tender fingertip she had almost sliced off with a pair of scissors. I remember holding my mother-in-law during an extremely painful test as she battled cancer.
Was it excruciating for me? You bet! People I loved were hurting. But I had to be there for them. In the most painful experiences of their lives what they needed most was to be surrounded by love. And what I needed most was to be there.
Imagine the depth of love Mary and the other women must have had for Jesus to endure witnessing His suffering on the cross. Love compelled them to be there. They couldn’t leave Him—even as He suffered and died before their eyes. While others forsook Him, and multitudes of people cried “Crucify him!” the women remained faithful.
“To their everlasting honour, these women evidenced more courage, and affectionate attachment to their Lord and Master, than the disciples did, who had promised to die with him rather than forsake him.” (Adam Clark commentary)
I want to be a woman like that. A woman who will be there, eyes fixed on Jesus…no matter what. A woman who will watch.
My prayer for today and every day:
I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead! Philippians 3:10-11 NLT
Thanks for watching with me today.