“As soon as it was morning”
Read the Text: Mark 15:1-41
There is a startling character to the Passion story. The Jewish authorities are bloodthirsty. Pilate, speaking for Rome, is strangely indifferent. The soldiers humiliate Jesus. The disciples have deserted Jesus entirely. And the women, many women who followed Him, watch from a distance.
I’m struck by these groups and their different reactions. It’s Breakfast Cluby: the jock, the stoner, the good girl, the brains…
This story continues the conversation from Tuesday about authority, brought to a head. There are rebels also to be killed, the abuse of Jesus, and of course, the recurring reference to the”King of the Jews”.
The whole Passion is an exercise in misunderstanding–from the disciples on down to the last soldier. Only the women are their, witnessing. Those women, with no authority in the Roman or Jewish worlds. Those women. So unlike Pilate or the priests. So unlike Peter or Barabbas. Those women.
They are there to see it. Perhaps they alone understand. The world around them has gone crazy; the Messiah is dead. The angry shouts from afar of “Crucify him!” and the jeers of their beloved; reviled as “King of the Jews!” wound them, punish them.
And still those women watch as sentries. Ten times the guard the disciples long to be; that Peter could never be.
Those women, they are many. They are alone. Missed. Ignored. On total display; there the whole time.
And still we miss them. Those women.
[This is Part 6 of a series of meditations for Holy Week. If you haven’t, you might want to start from the beginning.]